AuthorTopic: The Surlynewz Channel  (Read 577001 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3600 on: December 14, 2018, 12:07:36 PM »
A nice Christmas present would involve that fuckin' slimeball opportunist Devin Nunes getting indicted.

Come on Robert Mueller. Make America Believe In Santa Claus.

A boy can dream. I'm hoping he is part of the mopping-up phase; small fry in the scheme of things. But guilty enough to warrant a lifetime's disgrace and joke-buttery.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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We Don't Mine Enough Rare Earth Metals to Replace Fossil Fuels
« Reply #3601 on: December 15, 2018, 05:12:08 AM »
We Don't Mine Enough Rare Earth Metals to Replace Fossil Fuels With Renewable Energy
Rare earth metals are used in solar panels and wind turbines—as well as electric cars and consumer electronics. We don't recycle them, and there's not enough to meet growing demand.




A new scientific study supported by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure warns that the renewable energy industry could be about to face a fundamental obstacle: shortages in the supply of rare metals.

To meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets under the Paris Agreement, renewable energy production has to scale up fast. This means that global production of several rare earth minerals used in solar panels and wind turbines—especially neodymium, terbium, indium, dysprosium, and praseodymium—must grow twelvefold by 2050.

1544640003589-Fig1-1
Fig 1. Graph depicting global critical metal demand for wind and solar panels, between 2020 and 2050, compared with the 2017 level of annual metal production (2017 = 1).

But according to the new study by Dutch energy systems company Metabolic, the “current global supply of several critical metals is insufficient to transition to a renewable energy system.”

The study focuses on demand for rare metals in the Netherlands and extrapolates this to develop a picture of how global trends are likely to develop.

“If the rest of the world would develop renewable electricity capacity at a comparable pace with the Netherlands, a considerable shortage would arise,” the study finds. This doesn’t include other applications of rare earth metals in other electronics industries (rare earth metals are widely used in smartphones, for example). “When other applications (such as electric vehicles) are also taken into consideration, the required amount of certain metals would further increase.”

Demand for rare metals is pitched to rise exponentially across the world, and not just due to renewables. Demand is most evident in “consumer electronics, military applications, and other technical equipment in industrial applications. The growth of the global middle class from 1 billion to 3 billion people will only further accelerate this growth.”

But the study did not account for those other industries. This means the actual problem could be far more intractable. In 2017, a study in Nature found that a range of minerals essential for smartphones, laptops, electric cars and even copper wiring could face supply shortages in coming decades.

The other challenge is that rare metals mining is massively concentrated in just a few countries: particularly China, which dominates 80 percent of mining and nearly 95 percent of refining. Although Australia and Turkey are significant producers of specific metals (such as neodymium and boron respectively), Europe and the US are overwhelmingly dependent on China, which would be in a position to control global supply—a position that could be easily abused.

“There might be a certain moment when they prioritize their own renewable production over others—they have been taking a strategic position in getting all the technological expertise and data around this,” said lead author Pieter van Exter in a statement.

1544640034702-Fig2-1
Fig 2. The cumulative demand for a selection of critical metals until 2030, showing the country of origin (left) and technology (right)

The good news is that ample identified reserves for the renewable energy transition, at least, do exist. The key challenge is lead-times. It takes large capital investments and between 10-20 years to open new mines.

One solution is to find viable substitutions for rare metals. This holds some promise, but could also shift the burden to other metals. Another solution is for Europe and others to revitalise domestic mining industries using new technologies that can reduce their energy and water footprint. This could still be costly—and domestic reserves aren’t ample enough to rival the likes of China.

The key is the ‘circular economy,’ a regenerative approach designed to minimise resource inputs and waste by implementing principles and methods of design, maintenance, repair and recycling. According to Metabolic founder Eva Gladek, “It is essential for us to manage materials in a circular fashion in order to ensure that we have enough for the technologies critical to a low-carbon future.”

Currently, however, recycling rates for critical metals are at below 1 percent, and some rare earth metals aren’t recycled at all. If that practice continues, critical supply bottlenecks will be inevitable: “Unless a circular strategy is implemented, the industry will remain completely reliant on mining for its raw material supply. To make recycling the dominant source of raw materials, very high recycling rates will be needed,” the company said.

To succeed, the renewable energy industry needs to embrace the circular economy. If it doesn’t, the report authors told me, “this could drastically delay the energy transition—a disruption which we cannot afford in the race against climate change.”

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Searching for Trump's Tipping Point
« Reply #3602 on: December 15, 2018, 03:01:48 PM »
Searching but not finding.
The author makes some good points about the nature of the Trump coalition and their values. The observations about "coalition of restoration" vs. a "coalition of transformation" resonated with me. See what you think.

Searching for Trump's Tipping Point

Author 93

Twelve months ago, Donald Trump's presidential approval rating averaged 38 percent. Now, the 538 website suggests that Trump's approval rating has improved to 42 percent. ([url=https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/]https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/[/url]). Thus, after two chaotic years, a significant segment of the electorate continues to approve of Trump's White House performance. What accounts for this?

The Economy: When I talk to Trump supporters, they say the same thing, "I don't approve of Trump's behavior but he has been good for the economy."

Since the 2016 presidential election, the US economy has done well. Overall it has grown at a rate greater than 3 percent; in the 2018 second quarter it grew at 4.2 percent and in the third quarter at 3.5 percent. Even though the economy was growing when Obama was President, it's reasonable for Trump supporters to laud economic growth,

Nonetheless, there are signs the economy is slowing. (Over the past month the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped about 1500 points.) How will Trump supporters feel about Donald when the economy slumps?

Immigration: Perhaps, if the economy slumps, Trump voters will be mollified if he begins to build "the wall" along the border with Mexico. After all, many Trump supporters are satisfied with his stance on immigration; when Donald warned of an immigrant "invasion," before the midterm election, his base showed up at the polls and saved the Republican Senate majority.

Nonetheless, it's unlikely that Trump is going to get congressional support to build his wall. (Although. at the moment, he seems intent on a partial government shutdown to force this issues.) In fact, it's unlikely that Donald is going to have any major legislative accomplishment in the near future. Will this lack of accomplishment get through to Trump voters?

Fox News: Many Trump supporters only talk to other Trump groupies and get their news from the Fox News Network, which puts a pro-Trump spin on everything.-

For this reason, Trump supporters refuse to believe negative reports on Trump's behavior; they dismiss it as "fake news." No matter how many felonies the Department of Justice links to Donald, Trump's supporters are unlikely to turn on him until Fox News tells them to.

Recently, we've seen signs that the Trump-Fox News relationship is fraying. Earlier this month, Fox News host Tucker Carlson criticized Trump ([url=https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tucker-carlson-turns-on-donald-trump_us_5c0a33ade4b0b6cdaf5dc43e]https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tucker-carlson-turns-on-donald-trump_us_5c0a33ade4b0b6cdaf5dc43e[/url]) for failing to keep his major campaign promises, such as building the wall and defunding Obamacare. "I don't think he's capable of sustained focus. I don't think he understands the system," Carlson said. On December 12th, Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano observed, "The American public 'learned' on Wednesday that federal prosecutors have evidence President Trump committed a crime."

Resentment: Trump's base is fueled by "white resentment." Arlie Hochschild's book, "Stranger in Their Own Land," described the viewpoint of Trump devotees: They feel they have been unfairly denied their shot at the American dream. They turned to Trump because they saw him as someone outside the government who could shake things up.

Trump voters are similar to women who, in a desperate search for love, make terrible relationship choices. Even after their partner becomes abusive, they cling to him; saying, "I know he loves me and I believe over time he will change for the better." Even after Trump voters are confronted with evidence of his lies and abusive behavior, they continue to support him. Trump supporters call evidence of malfeasance "fake news."

In an abusive relationship, it's difficult for a woman to set limits with her abusive partner. Often, she is only able to separate after a horrendous event -- such as a beating that sends her to the hospital. Similarly, it's difficult for Trump voters to set limits with Trump; witness the typical comment, "I don't like how Trump behaves but he has been good for the economy." This suggests that most Trump supporters will stay with Donald until the economy tanks.

The Cultural Divide: Living on the Left Coast, it's difficult to find hard-core Trump supporters; the vast majority live in other parts of the country, such as Mississippi or North Dakota. They live in a sympathetic rural culture.

Many observers, such as veteran political reporter Ron Brownstein, (http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/politics/state/2016-election-anniversary/ ) feel that we are in the midst of a cultural "civil war":

"Over roughly the past two decades, attitudes toward these [cultural] changes have become the fundamental dividing line in American politics. In both presidential and congressional races, Republicans rely on what I've called a "coalition of restoration" that revolves around older, blue-collar, and evangelical Christian whites, mostly outside of urban areas, who feel most uneasy about these changes. Democrats mobilize a competing "coalition of transformation" centered on minority, millennial and college-educated white voters (especially women), who are mostly clustered in major metropolitan areas and the most comfortable with the changes.... More explicitly than any other recent Republican nominee, Trump ran as a candidate of restoration." [Emphasis added]

From this perspective, Trump's voters are holding on to him because he's the most powerful national politician representing their culture. These voters are not going to abandon Trump until he leaves office. In many instances Trump supporters see him as their last and best hope to restore the American dream.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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A New Book Describes Hunter S. Thompson’s Prescience
« Reply #3603 on: December 28, 2018, 02:17:56 PM »
A New Book Describes Hunter S. Thompson’s Prescience
“Trump is present on every page, even though he’s never mentioned once,” the author says.



Dick Polman


Hunter Thompson, the national-affairs editor for Rolling Stone, attends a meeting at Yale University in 1972 to discuss the influence of the press on the presidential election.BETTMANN / GETTY

If Hunter S. Thompson were still alive—if the so-called Gonzo journalist hadn’t killed himself in 2005, his ashes subsequently propelled from a cannon in a ceremony financed by Johnny Depp—the odds are high that he’d be linking Donald Trump to “that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character,” and contending that Trump “speaks for the Werewolf in us.”

That’s how Thompson reported on Richard Nixon back in his Rolling Stone’70s heyday, when his anarchic attitude broke the rules of objectivity and bonded with his fans in that divisive era. He was, in a sense, America’s first blogger, and his tone seems eerily contemporary. Even a letter he wrote to a friend in 1965 sounds like a common lament in 2018: “I think there is a terrible angst on the land, a sense that something ugly is about to happen, an hour-to-hour feeling of nervous anticipation.”

Read: He was a crook

One might argue that there’s no need for another book about Thompson—who has been repeatedly parsed by biographers, played by actors (Depp and Bill Murray), and deconstructed in a slew of academic dissertations (for instance, “as a modern practitioner of the carnivalesque in literature”)—but Timothy Denevi, an assistant professor at George Mason University, begs to differ. His new book, Freak Kingdom, tracks Thompson’s peak professional years, from 1963 to 1974, but in truth, Denevi says, “Trump is present on every page, even though he’s never mentioned once.”

Denevi tells me, “A lot of people today know Thompson as a drugged-out cartoon character”—indeed, the Doonesbury artist Garry Trudeau has made “Duke” a recurring character—“but what many of us are feeling right now [about Trump], Thompson was articulating beautifully in the ’60s and early ’70s, about how difficult it was to watch a government lie to its citizenry, and about how the country disfigured itself. When you’re constantly told one thing and you know the truth is another thing, the citizenry begins to fracture.

Read: The Hunter S. Thompson you don’t know

“That’s what we saw with the Vietnam War, with the Nixon administration and Watergate, with what Thompson saw as shameless, ruthless criminality. I think Thompson would look at the shameless criminality in the Trump administration, and he would’ve been able to dramatize the trauma of the situation, using the New Journalistic techniques.”

Not everyone, of course, loves the iconoclastic Thompson persona (the cigarette holder, the ever-present bottle of Wild Turkey), nor does every scribe and chronicler embrace the “New Journalistic techniques,” which combine reportage with the narrative devices typically associated with fiction. Thompson once wrote that “fiction is a bridge to the truth that the mechanics of journalism can’t reach … you have to add up the facts in your own fuzzy way,” and some journalists in recent decades, perhaps inspired by Thompson, have been accused of fuzzing the line that separates fact from fantasy, of inventing details in the pursuit of a higher truth.

Read: An interview with Hunter S. Thompson

Nor does everyone in the news business endorse Thompson’s flagrant participatory style (hence the term Gonzo); in 1974, he told Playboy magazine, “I like to get right in the middle of whatever I’m writing about, as personally involved as possible”—which arguably skewed the reality he was covering. During his Rolling Stone stint at the 1972 Republican convention, he infiltrated a Youth for Nixon rally and told the kids that NBC News’s John Chancellor loved to drop acid. Because the kids hated the media, they believed his fake LSD rumor—which arguably heightened the reality he was covering, because it exposed the Nixon kids’ naïveté. (“Golly,” he quotes a girl as saying about Chancellor, “that explains a lot, doesn’t it?”)

Denevi defends Thompson’s immersive subjectivity, which was developed only after years of objective reportorial spadework; today, by contrast, “too many people have decided that the more opinions they have, the more likely they’ll get noticed. But there’s no inherent worth to the opinions … Tucker Carlson [on Fox News] thinks he’s Hunter Thompson, whereas in reality, he’s not reporting; he’s just an opinion who’s trying to further Trump’s power.”

The keepers of Thompson’s flame contend that his shoe-leather reporting provided ballast for observations that today seem prescient. He hung out for a year with the ’60s Hell’s Angels, and his descriptions—of white guys without college degrees, “rendered completely useless in a highly technical economy”—bring to mind Trump’s so-called forgotten Americans. Thompson said they were motivated by an “ethic of total retaliation.” He wrote: “They are out of the ball game and they know it, (so) they spitefully proclaim exactly where they stand … Instead of losing quietly, one by one, they have banded together with a mindless kind of loyalty and moved outside the (establishment) for good or ill. (That) gives them a power and a purpose that nothing else seems to offer.”

A year earlier, in 1964, he’d covered the Republican convention and captured the first populist rumblings that culminated in Trump’s nomination 52 years later. When the nominee Barry Goldwater declared that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” the delegates went wild. Thompson later wrote, “I remember feeling genuinely frightened at the violent reaction … As the human thunder kept building, they mounted their metal chairs and began howling, shaking their fists at Huntley and Brinkley up in the NBC booth—and finally they began picking up those chairs with both hands and bashing them against chairs other delegates were still standing on.”

He was similarly frightened and fascinated by George Wallace, the Alabama governor who twice sought the presidency with demagogic pitches to Americans who felt they’d been left behind in a time of profound cultural and technological change. After one Wallace rally in 1972, Thompson wrote, “The air was electric even before he started talking … He campaigns like a rock star (with) a thundering, gut level appeal to rise up and smash all the ‘pointy-headed bureaucrats in Washington’ who’d been (screwing) them over for so long”—although Wallace, in his appeals to emotion, “never bothered to understand the problems.”

It’s not a stretch to imagine how Thompson would have chronicled the contemporary chants of “Lock her up.” Denevi, the new biographer, tells me, “There’s something ugly in the American character, a sense of resentment, that very charismatic politicians have always tapped into. ‘Come to me, and I will give you the answers; they’re very simple.’” But how Thompson would handle Trump is, of course, a moot question, because the writer was burned out by 1980. His love of alcohol and Dexedrine sapped his strength, and a string of partisan disappointments—Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Nixon’s two electoral wins, Ronald Reagan’s ascent—sapped his spirit.

I witnessed that mood firsthand when I had dinner with Thompson (and several handlers) in June 1981. As I wrote at the time, he ordered two beers, two margaritas, and a Chivas Regal on the rocks to go with his ice cream. He said that he’d recently visited Washington, intending to write about Reagan; however, “we got there and said, ‘What the hell?’ I don’t give a damn … To be in Washington—jeez, what a horrible way to live.” He had depleted his capacity for outrage: “To keep writing angry, damn-you stuff can drive you mad.”

I described that dinner to Denevi. He replied, “I can understand Thompson’s exhaustion. That’s why he couldn’t continue to write the way he had.” He was disillusioned by what he perceived as the chasm between America’s promise and performance, “his perspective was eroded by his alcoholism,” and, ultimately, “he became a caricature of himself.” Indeed, when Trump briefly flirted with launching a 2000 presidential bid, Garry Trudeau contrived for cartoon Trump to hire cartoon Thompson as a backstage fixer.

But Denevi always thinks back to Election Night of 2016, when Trump’s flirtation finally came to fruition: “That moment—the emotion of it—put a fresh lens on Thompson … He was a patriot who wanted America to live up to its ideals.” Which is why Denevi believes that what Thompson chronicled in his inimitable way during the Nixon era—“America acting on its worst impulses”—still resonates today.

As Thompson once riffed, “Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.” That’s either wise or incoherent. Perhaps a new generation of scholars will parse it.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline azozeo

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Re: A New Book Describes Hunter S. Thompson’s Prescience
« Reply #3604 on: December 28, 2018, 02:44:17 PM »
A New Book Describes Hunter S. Thompson’s Prescience
“Trump is present on every page, even though he’s never mentioned once,” the author says.



Dick Polman


Hunter Thompson, the national-affairs editor for Rolling Stone, attends a meeting at Yale University in 1972 to discuss the influence of the press on the presidential election.BETTMANN / GETTY

If Hunter S. Thompson were still alive—if the so-called Gonzo journalist hadn’t killed himself in 2005, his ashes subsequently propelled from a cannon in a ceremony financed by Johnny Depp—the odds are high that he’d be linking Donald Trump to “that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character,” and contending that Trump “speaks for the Werewolf in us.”

That’s how Thompson reported on Richard Nixon back in his Rolling Stone’70s heyday, when his anarchic attitude broke the rules of objectivity and bonded with his fans in that divisive era. He was, in a sense, America’s first blogger, and his tone seems eerily contemporary. Even a letter he wrote to a friend in 1965 sounds like a common lament in 2018: “I think there is a terrible angst on the land, a sense that something ugly is about to happen, an hour-to-hour feeling of nervous anticipation.”

Read: He was a crook

One might argue that there’s no need for another book about Thompson—who has been repeatedly parsed by biographers, played by actors (Depp and Bill Murray), and deconstructed in a slew of academic dissertations (for instance, “as a modern practitioner of the carnivalesque in literature”)—but Timothy Denevi, an assistant professor at George Mason University, begs to differ. His new book, Freak Kingdom, tracks Thompson’s peak professional years, from 1963 to 1974, but in truth, Denevi says, “Trump is present on every page, even though he’s never mentioned once.”

Denevi tells me, “A lot of people today know Thompson as a drugged-out cartoon character”—indeed, the Doonesbury artist Garry Trudeau has made “Duke” a recurring character—“but what many of us are feeling right now [about Trump], Thompson was articulating beautifully in the ’60s and early ’70s, about how difficult it was to watch a government lie to its citizenry, and about how the country disfigured itself. When you’re constantly told one thing and you know the truth is another thing, the citizenry begins to fracture.

Read: The Hunter S. Thompson you don’t know

“That’s what we saw with the Vietnam War, with the Nixon administration and Watergate, with what Thompson saw as shameless, ruthless criminality. I think Thompson would look at the shameless criminality in the Trump administration, and he would’ve been able to dramatize the trauma of the situation, using the New Journalistic techniques.”

Not everyone, of course, loves the iconoclastic Thompson persona (the cigarette holder, the ever-present bottle of Wild Turkey), nor does every scribe and chronicler embrace the “New Journalistic techniques,” which combine reportage with the narrative devices typically associated with fiction. Thompson once wrote that “fiction is a bridge to the truth that the mechanics of journalism can’t reach … you have to add up the facts in your own fuzzy way,” and some journalists in recent decades, perhaps inspired by Thompson, have been accused of fuzzing the line that separates fact from fantasy, of inventing details in the pursuit of a higher truth.

Read: An interview with Hunter S. Thompson

Nor does everyone in the news business endorse Thompson’s flagrant participatory style (hence the term Gonzo); in 1974, he told Playboy magazine, “I like to get right in the middle of whatever I’m writing about, as personally involved as possible”—which arguably skewed the reality he was covering. During his Rolling Stone stint at the 1972 Republican convention, he infiltrated a Youth for Nixon rally and told the kids that NBC News’s John Chancellor loved to drop acid. Because the kids hated the media, they believed his fake LSD rumor—which arguably heightened the reality he was covering, because it exposed the Nixon kids’ naïveté. (“Golly,” he quotes a girl as saying about Chancellor, “that explains a lot, doesn’t it?”)

Denevi defends Thompson’s immersive subjectivity, which was developed only after years of objective reportorial spadework; today, by contrast, “too many people have decided that the more opinions they have, the more likely they’ll get noticed. But there’s no inherent worth to the opinions … Tucker Carlson [on Fox News] thinks he’s Hunter Thompson, whereas in reality, he’s not reporting; he’s just an opinion who’s trying to further Trump’s power.”

The keepers of Thompson’s flame contend that his shoe-leather reporting provided ballast for observations that today seem prescient. He hung out for a year with the ’60s Hell’s Angels, and his descriptions—of white guys without college degrees, “rendered completely useless in a highly technical economy”—bring to mind Trump’s so-called forgotten Americans. Thompson said they were motivated by an “ethic of total retaliation.” He wrote: “They are out of the ball game and they know it, (so) they spitefully proclaim exactly where they stand … Instead of losing quietly, one by one, they have banded together with a mindless kind of loyalty and moved outside the (establishment) for good or ill. (That) gives them a power and a purpose that nothing else seems to offer.”

A year earlier, in 1964, he’d covered the Republican convention and captured the first populist rumblings that culminated in Trump’s nomination 52 years later. When the nominee Barry Goldwater declared that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” the delegates went wild. Thompson later wrote, “I remember feeling genuinely frightened at the violent reaction … As the human thunder kept building, they mounted their metal chairs and began howling, shaking their fists at Huntley and Brinkley up in the NBC booth—and finally they began picking up those chairs with both hands and bashing them against chairs other delegates were still standing on.”

He was similarly frightened and fascinated by George Wallace, the Alabama governor who twice sought the presidency with demagogic pitches to Americans who felt they’d been left behind in a time of profound cultural and technological change. After one Wallace rally in 1972, Thompson wrote, “The air was electric even before he started talking … He campaigns like a rock star (with) a thundering, gut level appeal to rise up and smash all the ‘pointy-headed bureaucrats in Washington’ who’d been (screwing) them over for so long”—although Wallace, in his appeals to emotion, “never bothered to understand the problems.”

It’s not a stretch to imagine how Thompson would have chronicled the contemporary chants of “Lock her up.” Denevi, the new biographer, tells me, “There’s something ugly in the American character, a sense of resentment, that very charismatic politicians have always tapped into. ‘Come to me, and I will give you the answers; they’re very simple.’” But how Thompson would handle Trump is, of course, a moot question, because the writer was burned out by 1980. His love of alcohol and Dexedrine sapped his strength, and a string of partisan disappointments—Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Nixon’s two electoral wins, Ronald Reagan’s ascent—sapped his spirit.

I witnessed that mood firsthand when I had dinner with Thompson (and several handlers) in June 1981. As I wrote at the time, he ordered two beers, two margaritas, and a Chivas Regal on the rocks to go with his ice cream. He said that he’d recently visited Washington, intending to write about Reagan; however, “we got there and said, ‘What the hell?’ I don’t give a damn … To be in Washington—jeez, what a horrible way to live.” He had depleted his capacity for outrage: “To keep writing angry, damn-you stuff can drive you mad.”

I described that dinner to Denevi. He replied, “I can understand Thompson’s exhaustion. That’s why he couldn’t continue to write the way he had.” He was disillusioned by what he perceived as the chasm between America’s promise and performance, “his perspective was eroded by his alcoholism,” and, ultimately, “he became a caricature of himself.” Indeed, when Trump briefly flirted with launching a 2000 presidential bid, Garry Trudeau contrived for cartoon Trump to hire cartoon Thompson as a backstage fixer.

But Denevi always thinks back to Election Night of 2016, when Trump’s flirtation finally came to fruition: “That moment—the emotion of it—put a fresh lens on Thompson … He was a patriot who wanted America to live up to its ideals.” Which is why Denevi believes that what Thompson chronicled in his inimitable way during the Nixon era—“America acting on its worst impulses”—still resonates today.

As Thompson once riffed, “Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.” That’s either wise or incoherent. Perhaps a new generation of scholars will parse it.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

[/quote]
 :emthup:
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 04:11:26 PM by Surly1 »
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3605 on: December 28, 2018, 04:45:43 PM »
Hunter was both more and less than his legend.

More, in that it took a huge set of balls to write a story like Fear and Loathing, putting himself in the middle of it and thumbing his nose at the straight world. Remember, this was the same time Timothy Leary was testifying before Congress and trying to walk back most of what he and Ram Dass had done.

Less, only in that a lot of what he claimed was real, was completely made up. He embellished his Gonzo reputation at every opportunity. Nobody could have really lived through all that and had the presence of mind to write it down afterward.

Fear and Loathing was Hunter at his best. Completely over the top. The Hell's Angels, written years before when he lived in San Francisco, was more accurate. Maybe his best real journalism.

You have to give Jan Wenner props for letting Hunter be Hunter. Only Rolling Stone could have made Hunter into what he turned into. Wenner's role is mostly forgotten.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3606 on: December 28, 2018, 05:14:53 PM »
Hunter was both more and less than his legend.
//
Fear and Loathing was Hunter at his best. Completely over the top. The Hell's Angels, written years before when he lived in San Francisco, was more accurate. Maybe his best real journalism.

When a book ends with the author getting the shit kicked out of him by Hell's Angels, you know you have a taste of The Real Thing. It was a beating bad enough to send him to the hospital—but he remained on generally good terms with some of the Angels, including Sonny Barger. Thompson’s book was as fair and honest account of the motorcycle club as an outsider could make it.

You have to give Jan Wenner props for letting Hunter be Hunter. Only Rolling Stone could have made Hunter into what he turned into. Wenner's role is mostly forgotten.

Yep. As is most of our recent history. Wenner paid for Thompson's notoriety with dozens of blown deadlines and/or incoherent dispatches.
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"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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What 2018 Looked Like Fifty Years Ago
« Reply #3607 on: December 31, 2018, 12:34:27 PM »
What 2018 Looked Like Fifty Years Ago
A book of technology predictions makes distressing reading at the end of a year that, a golden anniversary ago, looked positively thrilling.


Illustration by João Fazenda

Prophecy is a mug’s game. But then, lately, most of us are mugs. 2018 was a banner year for the art of prediction, which is not to say the science, because there really is no science of prediction. Predictive algorithms start out as historians: they study historical data to detect patterns. Then they become prophets: they devise mathematical formulas that explain the pattern, test the formulas against historical data withheld for the purpose, and use the formulas to make predictions about the future. That’s why Amazon, Google, Facebook, and everyone else are collecting your data to feed to their algorithms: they want to turn your past into your future.

This task, like most things, used to be done by hand. In 1968, the Foreign Policy Association, formed in 1918 to promote the League of Nations, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary by publishing a book of predictions about what the world would look like, technology-wise, fifty years on. “Toward the Year 2018” was edited by Emmanuel G. Mesthene, who had served in the White House as an adviser on science and technology and who ran Harvard’s Program on Technology and Society. It makes for distressing reading at the end of 2018, a year that, a golden anniversary ago, looked positively thrilling.

Two things are true about “Toward the Year 2018.” First, most of the machines that people expected would be invented have, in fact, been invented. Second, most of those machines have had consequences wildly different from those anticipated in 1968. It’s bad manners to look at past predictions to see if they’ve come true. Still, if history is any guide, today’s futurists have very little credibility. An algorithm would say the same.

Carlos R. DeCarlo, the director of automation research at I.B.M., covered computers in the book, predicting that, in 2018, “machines will do more of man’s work, but will force man to think more logically.” DeCarlo was consistently half right. He correctly anticipated miniature computers (“very small, portable storage units”), but wrongly predicted the coming of a universal language (“very likely a modified and expanded form of English”). One thing he got terribly wrong: he expressed tragically unfounded confidence that “the political and social institutions of the United States will remain flexible enough to ingest the fruits of science and technology without basic damage to its value systems.”

Reporting on the future of communication, J. R. Pierce, from Bell Labs, explained that “the Bell System is committed to the provision of a Picturephone service commercially in the early 1970s,” and that, by 2018, face-to-face communication across long distances would be available everywhere: “The transmission of pictures and texts and the distant manipulation of computers and other machines will be added to the transmission of the human voice on a scale that will eventually approach the universality of telephony.” True! “What all this will do to the world I cannot guess,” Pierce admitted, with becoming modesty. “It seems bound to affect us all.”

Sharp-eyed observers in 1968 were already concerned about the warming of the oceans and the changing of the climate, but the atmospheric-science contributor to “Toward the Year 2018,” Thomas F. Malone, was excited by new technologies that would allow scientists to take control of the earth’s weather and climate. Malone served as the chairman of the Committee on Atmospheric Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences, which, in 1966, had issued a report endorsing “a long-range program of weather control and climate modification,” to be implemented by way of manipulating fog, cloud-seeding, and the “suppression of lightning.” He thought “the probability of success in broad climate modification is likely to exceed 50 percent by the year 2018.” Standing in the way of this objective, he warned, were political obstacles—the international coöperation required for a global climate-change program—and the possibility that, before such a thing could be fully executed, “large-scale climate modification will be effected inadvertently,” because, he had to admit, it appeared that the climate was already changing all on its own. “Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since 1900 has caused surface temperatures to rise 0.2 degrees C,” he acknowledged, hastening to reassure his readers that, while global temperatures could conceivably keep rising all the way to 2018, there was only “a small probability that these effects will not be tolerable.”

The only real doomsayer was the demographer Philip M. Hauser. He calculated that, by 2018, the world’s population would reach 9.7 billion (he was two billion over), with the steepest growth in Asia and Latin America, and the slowest in Europe. Also, that the distance between the rich and the poor, and between wealthy nations and poor nations, would widen. “Given the present outlook, only the faithful who believe in miracles from heaven, the optimistic who anticipate superwonders from science, the parochial fortunate who think they can continue to exist on islands of affluence in a sea of world poverty, and the naïve who anticipate nothing can look to the future with equanimity,” Hauser concluded.

But the most prescient contributor to “Toward the Year 2018” was the M.I.T. political scientist Ithiel de Sola Pool, whose research interests included social networks and computer simulation. “By 2018 it will be cheaper to store information in a computer bank than on paper,” Pool wrote. “Tax returns, social security records, census forms, military records, perhaps a criminal record, hospital rec-ords, security clearance files, school transcripts . . . bank statements,credit ratings, job records,” and more would, by 2018, be stored on computers that could communicate with one another over a vast international network. You could find out anything about anyone, without ever leaving your desk. “By 2018 the researcher sitting at his console will be able to compile a cross-tabulation of consumer purchases (from store records) by people of low IQ (from school records) who have an unemployed member of the family (from social security records). That is, he will have the technological capability to do this. Will he have the legal right?” Pool declined to answer that question. “This is not the place to speculate how society will achieve a balance between its desire for knowledge and its desire for privacy,” he insisted.

And that was the problem with 1968. People went ahead and built those things without worrying much about the consequences, because they figured that, by 2018, we’d have come up with all the answers. Toward 2019! ♦

This article appears in the print edition of the January 7, 2019, issue, with the headline “Unforeseen.”
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Don’t Go Out on New Year’s Eve
« Reply #3608 on: December 31, 2018, 12:48:55 PM »
"If you have ever turned on your TV on New Year’s Eve and felt a little jealous of the partyers gathered in Times Square to watch the ball drop, remember one thing: A lot of those people are wearing diapers."

Don’t Go Out on New Year’s Eve
It’s not worth it.




If you have ever turned on your television on New Year’s Eve and felt even a little bit jealous of the partyers gathered in Times Square to watch the ball drop, I want you to remember one thing: A lot of those people are wearing diapers.

It has been widely reported that there is nowhere for New Year’s Eve revelers to use the bathroom in Times Square—no porta-potties, and don’t even thinkabout trying to pop into the Disney Store and asking to use its restroom. So people urinate in the street, hold their kids over railings while they pee, dehydrate themselves all day, and wear adult diapers. Or multiple maxi pads, as one woman told Gothamist in 2015.

There’s a saying that how you spend New Year’s Eve is how you’re going to spend the rest of the year, which is patently ridiculous if taken literally, but even taken figuratively, spending New Year’s Eve soaking in your own urine, hip to hip with millions of other people, illuminated by the bright lights of 20-story ads for light beer or whatever, is a bit of an inauspicious start to the year.

And if Times Square is the top of the dial of New Year’s Eve unpleasantness, discomfort cranked up to 10, then the average experience of going out on December 31 is still likely a 5 or 6.

Standing in line for a bar has never been worth it, not once in the history of time. A really quick line to check IDs at the door is permissible, but that’s it. A stationary line extending down the sidewalk means the place is so packed that when you get to the front, the bouncer has to assess whether or not he can realistically shove one more sardine into that can. And once you make it in, you can expect to spend the night swimming upstream of a riptide of bodies to get to the bar, the bathroom, back to your friends, anywhere. If a night of shifting foot to foot in the 12 square inches of floor space you’ve carved for yourself sounds like fun, then going out on New Year’s Eve is going to deliver just the experience you were hoping for.

You will likely have to pay for the privilege, though. According to Ashley Bray, the editor of Bar Business Magazine, a trade publication for bars and nightclubs, most bars sell tickets for New Year’s Eve, even if they don’t usually charge a cover. Many will host a special event of some kind, with food, or a DJ, or a champagne toast, and it makes sense for bar owners to want an advance head count. But for the goer-outer, that means if you were hoping to stop by your favorite local bar on New Year’s Eve, there will be a price just to get in the door.

Those who would brave the cold on New Year’s Eve are likely well aware of these obstacles—I don’t think I’m exactly blowing the lid off anything here (but if you didn’t know about the diapers … now you know). It may be that some truly enjoy the experience of going out on December 31, and if so, Godspeed to you and drive safely. But I think it’s fair to say that New Year’s Eve is few people’s favorite holiday. Several tongue-in-cheek “holiday ranking” articles place it solidly in the middle of the pack, a survey by FiveThirtyEightranked it fourth, and Conor Friedersdorf once railed against it in the esteemed pages of this very website. “A too expensive exercise in affected frenzy and anticlimax,” he called it.

Read: Resolutions often fail, but that doesn’t make the New Year a bad time to say what you want from your life

And he’s right—but it doesn’t have to be. Both the frenzy and the anticlimax can be avoided by simply staying in. I genuinely look forward to New Year’s Eve every year, and that’s because my two best friends and I have designated it Our Holiday, and we always spend it together. The form of our celebration fluctuates—sometimes we dress up and cook ourselves a nice meal, sometimes we watch horrible-yet-incrediblemade-for-TV movies, and sometimes we hang out with my friend’s family and play a game of Celebrity. It’s always chill, never frenzied, and it can’t possibly be anticlimactic because the only expectation I’m placing on the evening is to spend some quality time with my closest friends.

The cultural pressure to go out on New Year’s Eve, or to strap on a diaper so you can see the ball drop in person, or to make the evening into an Event in some other way, stems from the undue weight society gives to a year’s end. It’s supposed to be a finale, followed by a fresh start. And as anyone who’s watched enough TV shows would know, they save all the juicy stuff for the finale. The revelations, the big party scenes, the long-awaited kiss between the romantic leads. So if you want your year to have a good finale, you’d better learn a big lesson, take yourself out to a party, and have someone to kiss at midnight. (The origins of the midnight New Year’s kiss tradition are murky, but it certainly seems that When Harry Met Sally poured fuel on its fire.)

“New Year’s Eve is a date that people usually remember,” says Gabriele Oettingen, a psychology professor at New York University and the author ofRethinking Positive Thinking. “People take it seriously, to conclude and to begin. And sometimes you don’t want to be alone, because you want to share in this kind of ending and be together with other people when you start over. So people seek company probably more than on any other normal day.

“The question really is,” she continues, “what company do you seek?” She suggests trying to divorce what you really want to do from what you feel expected to do, imagining how you would feel if you spent New Year’s Eve as you wished, identifying obstacles in the way—whether that’s fomo or peer pressure or anything else—and then making a concrete plan for the holiday. This is a strategy she’s researched extensively called woop, which stands for “wish, outcome, obstacles, plan.”

It might seem a little silly to do a whole visualization technique just to figure out how to spend New Year’s Eve, but it’s worth asking yourself whether you’re making a to-do out of this particular rotation of the Earth just because you think you’ll feel guilty if you don’t. “It’s difficult to really do what you want to do and not to do what you don’t want to do,” Oettingen says. So this year, when the ball drops on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest and whoever else, spare a thought for those people wearing diapers in Times Square who might really, in their heart of hearts, rather be somewhere else.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 12:59:32 PM by Surly1 »
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Spare Us the Tone Police
« Reply #3609 on: January 04, 2019, 11:18:27 AM »
The Twitterverse is alive today with clutched pearls and wannabe tone police tearing their well-coiffed hair and rending their garments over Rashida Tlaib's latest  utterance. The clearest and most recent example of the double standard applied to women.

Richard Painter appeared on the Diner Twitter feed,

Richard W. Painter‏ @RWPUSA 4h4 hours ago They should impeach him. But they shouldn’t act and talk like him. We need tio bring dignity and civility back to Washington. New House Democrat Rashida Tlaib: 'We're gonna impeach the motherf****r' @CNNPolitics
Response has been overwhelmingly in the negative, as you might imagine. Our own was, "You picked a bad day to join the tone police, Richard."

https://twitter.com/RWPUSA

New House Democrat Rashida Tlaib: 'We're gonna impeach the motherf****r'

New House Democrat Rashida Tlaib: 'We're gonna impeach the motherf****r'

CNN Digital Expansion 2018 Veronica Stracqualursi

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Updated 11:23 AM ET, Fri January 4, 2019

Washington (CNN)Hours after she was sworn in to Congress, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib used an expletive Thursday in pushing for impeaching President Donald Trump.

Speaking to a crowd at an event sponsored by the progressive group MoveOn, Tlaib recalled the moment she won her election in November.
"And when your son looks at you and says, 'Mama look, you won. Bullies don't win,' and I said, 'Baby, they don't,' because we're gonna go in there and we're going to impeach the motherf****r," Tlaib said Thursday, speaking of Trump, according to a video posted on Twitter by Nestor Ruiz, an activist with United We Dream.
Tlaib did not seem remorseful about her choice of words on Friday.
"I will always speak truth to power. #unapologeticallyMe," she wrote on Twitter.
Her office also released a statement Friday, saying, "The Congresswoman absolutely believes he needs to be impeached."
"She ran and won by making this very clear to the voters in her district," the statement said. "Donald Trump's actions have harmed the 13th Congressional District and this country, and Congresswoman Tlaib will not stay silent while this happens."
Tlaib also penned an op-ed Thursday arguing that "the time for impeachment proceedings is now."
"President Donald Trump is a direct and serious threat to our country," she wrote in the op-ed published in the Detroit Free Press with John Bonifaz, co-founder of the nonprofit Free Speech For People. "On an almost daily basis, he attacks our Constitution, our democracy, the rule of law and the people who are in this country. His conduct has created a constitutional crisis that we must confront now."
During her campaign, Tlaib made clear that once in Congress she was going to push for impeachment against Trump.
"Why am I running? Because this is about electing the jury to impeach (POTUS) and I will make a heck of juror," she wrote on Twitter in March.
More than a year before she ran for Congress, Tlaib made headlines for being thrown out of an event in Michigan where Trump was speaking. She had interrupted the then-Republican presidential nominee to ask if he had ever read the Constitution.
Tlaib is one of few Democratic lawmakers to call for Trump's removal from office, however House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders have tread more carefully around the topic of impeachment.
In an interview with NBC News this week, Pelosi didn't rule out pursuing impeachment against Trump, but said Democrats would wait until special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation concludes.
"We shouldn't be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn't avoid impeachment for a political reason," Pelosi said.
On Friday morning, Trump reacted to the talk of impeachment by questioning why House Democrats would do such a thing. He also blamed a volatile stock market on Democrats taking control of the lower chamber.
"As I have stated many times, if the Democrats take over the House or Senate, there will be disruption to the Financial Markets. We won the Senate, they won the House. Things will settle down. They only want to impeach me because they know they can't win in 2020, too much success!" Trump said on Twitter.
He added, "How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?"

CNN's Elizabeth Landers, Clare Foran and Sunlen Serfaty contributed to this report.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Trump Channels Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Fearmongers for the Wall
« Reply #3610 on: January 09, 2019, 06:29:16 AM »
Trump Channels Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Fearmongers for the Wall
Much of the Oval Office address echoed usual Trump rhetoric: hyperpartisan at points, and dripping with nativism. But in a notable way, Trump blinked.




In the days before his Oval Office address on Tuesday night, Donald Trump leaned on a number of advisers on how to navigate the government shutdown he’d waged over funding for his border wall. The list included immigration hardliners Fox News host Sean Hannity and Fox Business star Lou Dobbs, both of whom, according to two sources familiar with the conversations, had a clear message for the president: push forward for the wall funding and break the Democrats’ will.

The president took the counsel of the hardliners. On Tuesday night he claimed that there was a “growing humanitarian” crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border—”a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul”—that required the construction of a physical barrier.

“Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system,” Trump said at one point, his voice far softer than those thunderous calls for a Mexican-paid-for wall that he’d offered during the dog days of the 2016 presidential campaign. “This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.”

Trump Gets Instant Fact-Check From Fox News After Speech

Matt Wilstein

Much of it echoed usual Trump rhetoric: heavy on fearmongering, hyperpartisan at points, and dripping with nativism. But in a notable way, Trump blinked. Hours before the televised speech, he had been contemplating declaring a national emergency in order to be able to unilaterally divert military funds for the construction of the border wall but that declaration notably didn’t make it into the final address. Trump didn’t even try to link border crossings with terrorism, despite days’ worth of his senior officials attempting to make that dubious connection.

Still, the speech illustrated both the agency that immigration restrictionists and conservative media figures continue to have within the White House, as well as the insatiable appetite the president appears to have for hyping threats along the southern border—threats that are largely divorced from realities on the ground.

In a statement through a Fox News spokesperson, Hannity said he does not discuss potential private conversations with friends or sources, and would only consider questions if The Daily Beast revealed its sources.

The West Wing, though, eagerly touted the address as a momentous statement of policy and principle. In talking points sent as the speech began and obtained by The Daily Beast, White House communications aide Judd Deere advised surrogates to describe the speech with terms including “common sense,” “strong,” “confident,” “presidential,” “leadership,” and “empathetic.”

During his address, the president recited long-used rallying points, but stripped of his typical energy, volume, and improvisation. Trump contended that “African-Americans and Hispanic Americans” were the “hardest hit” by this supposed immigration emergency, and that the “sex crimes” and “violent killings” perpetrated by “those who illegally enter our country” risk a larger, darker mayhem in America’s streets and towns.

In fact, the available evidence indicates that Trump is doing little more than manufacturing a crisis. The vast majority of immigrants in the country illegally didn’t sneak across the border, but simply overstayed their visas. Department of Homeland Security statistics from last summer found 702,000 visa lapses, nearly twice that of the 362,000 attempts at illegal border crossings in 2017. Those crossings themselves are at a historic nadir. DHS enforcement data from September 2017 showed the apprehension of about 409,000 would-be immigrants in 2016, compared to about 1.2 million people in 2006. (In that same report, DHS called the 328,000 people captured in 2011 “a 40-year low.”)

Nor are terrorists represented in the border crossings, despite fervent insistence from the Trump administration that the southern border represents a terrorism risk. “It simply isn’t true,” wrote Nick Rasmussen, who until 2017 directed the government’s National Counterterrorism Center. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, asserted that “nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally.” But to substantiate that, administration data reported by NBC News found only six watchlisted people between Oct. 1, 2017 and Mar. 31, 2018 attempted the crossing—and the presence on the government’s broad terror watchlists is far from an indication of involvement in terrorism.

“There has always been this belief that because of the conditions in central and South America, terrorists would want to come up through that region of the world,” said John Cohen, former deputy under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS. “Notwithstanding that speculation, we’ve never seen it, the State Department in their country report, to date, they have not seen any examples.”

"The fact that he didn't mention terrorism in the speech suggests that the picture painted by the administration over the last few days of a major terrorist threat at the southern border just wasn't credible,” Cohen added.

If Tuesday night’s speech was designed to persuade Democrats that they were vulnerable politically on the topic of wall funding, it almost certainly did not do the trick. Prior to the address, Reuters released a poll that had the president shouldering a majority of the blame for the shutdown. And associates of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say she has become only emboldened in her position to not give more than the previously allocated $1.3 billion for border security since taking over the gavel.

“We just had an election where Democrats won 40 seats and he tried to make the wall a central component of the election,” said one close Pelosi ally. “So we aren’t really all that concerned about the politics of it.”

  • GROUNDED

    TSA Officers Are Already Quitting Over the Shutdown

    Pilar Melendez,

    Julia Arciga

As the political standstill seems likely to continue, the impact of this shutdown has also came into sharper focus. The Trump administration has put off most of the harsher consequences by finding administrative and legal loopholes to, among other things, keep parks open, issue tax refunds, and cover the cost for food stamps for an additional month. But within a matter of days, federal workers will likely miss a paycheck and some of those government programs have begun to shutter, including those specifically designed to help ameliorate the dysfunction at the southern border.

For immigrant communities, the standoff has had damaging effects as well, if only for the horrifying portrayal they’ve received at the hands of the president. At the headquarters of the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso’s Manhattan Heights neighborhood, director Fernando Garcia used a broom handle to turn on the projector to put Trump’s speech on a big screen for a gathering of Mexican-Americans, DACA recipients and migrants to watch the president’s remarks.

Afterward, Garcia addressed the crowd, saying Trump ”had nothing to offer but hate and fear.”

“This is not leadership,” Garcia said. “This is the petty politics of a small-minded racist. There’s no crisis. There never was. He’s lying about his hateful, destructive border wall.”

Jennifer Johnson, a policy adviser to the Southern Border Communities Coalition, a mega-grouping of 60 immigrants-rights and community organizations around the southwest, said Tuesday was a day of “intense discussion."

“It’s alarming. Folks know their communities. They don’t see a national emergency when they look out their back door,” Johnson told The Daily Beast minutes before Trump’s speech. “They do see a humanitarian crisis and people suffering, but the picture the president is painting is so far from the reality that people experience… We’d agree there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and it’s one of Trump’s own making.”

In his speech on Tuesday, Trump continued to portray migrants in dark terms. And though he did not directly address the consequences of the government remaining shuttered, he did cast blame for any impasse at the feet of Democrats who he said were only refusing to fund the border wall because of political expediency. Out of the view of the Oval Office, the president’s political operation sought to turn the shutdown—and Republican enthusiasm for a border wall itself—into a money-maker.

“Just look at the facts,” declared a fundraising email sent on Tuesday evening by a joint fundraising committee for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. “Drugs are poisoning our loved ones. MS-13 gang members are threatening our safety. Illegal criminals are flooding our nation. I want to make one thing clear to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi: Your safety is not a political game or a negotiation tactic!”

—With additional reporting by Justin Glawe from El Paso and Erin Banco and Sam Stein from Washington, D.C.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Eddie

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Re: Trump Channels Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Fearmongers for the Wall
« Reply #3611 on: January 09, 2019, 07:14:05 AM »
Trump Channels Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Fearmongers for the Wall
Much of the Oval Office address echoed usual Trump rhetoric: hyperpartisan at points, and dripping with nativism. But in a notable way, Trump blinked.




In the days before his Oval Office address on Tuesday night, Donald Trump leaned on a number of advisers on how to navigate the government shutdown he’d waged over funding for his border wall. The list included immigration hardliners Fox News host Sean Hannity and Fox Business star Lou Dobbs, both of whom, according to two sources familiar with the conversations, had a clear message for the president: push forward for the wall funding and break the Democrats’ will.

The president took the counsel of the hardliners. On Tuesday night he claimed that there was a “growing humanitarian” crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border—”a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul”—that required the construction of a physical barrier.

“Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system,” Trump said at one point, his voice far softer than those thunderous calls for a Mexican-paid-for wall that he’d offered during the dog days of the 2016 presidential campaign. “This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.”

Trump Gets Instant Fact-Check From Fox News After Speech

Matt Wilstein

Much of it echoed usual Trump rhetoric: heavy on fearmongering, hyperpartisan at points, and dripping with nativism. But in a notable way, Trump blinked. Hours before the televised speech, he had been contemplating declaring a national emergency in order to be able to unilaterally divert military funds for the construction of the border wall but that declaration notably didn’t make it into the final address. Trump didn’t even try to link border crossings with terrorism, despite days’ worth of his senior officials attempting to make that dubious connection.

Still, the speech illustrated both the agency that immigration restrictionists and conservative media figures continue to have within the White House, as well as the insatiable appetite the president appears to have for hyping threats along the southern border—threats that are largely divorced from realities on the ground.

In a statement through a Fox News spokesperson, Hannity said he does not discuss potential private conversations with friends or sources, and would only consider questions if The Daily Beast revealed its sources.

The West Wing, though, eagerly touted the address as a momentous statement of policy and principle. In talking points sent as the speech began and obtained by The Daily Beast, White House communications aide Judd Deere advised surrogates to describe the speech with terms including “common sense,” “strong,” “confident,” “presidential,” “leadership,” and “empathetic.”

During his address, the president recited long-used rallying points, but stripped of his typical energy, volume, and improvisation. Trump contended that “African-Americans and Hispanic Americans” were the “hardest hit” by this supposed immigration emergency, and that the “sex crimes” and “violent killings” perpetrated by “those who illegally enter our country” risk a larger, darker mayhem in America’s streets and towns.

In fact, the available evidence indicates that Trump is doing little more than manufacturing a crisis. The vast majority of immigrants in the country illegally didn’t sneak across the border, but simply overstayed their visas. Department of Homeland Security statistics from last summer found 702,000 visa lapses, nearly twice that of the 362,000 attempts at illegal border crossings in 2017. Those crossings themselves are at a historic nadir. DHS enforcement data from September 2017 showed the apprehension of about 409,000 would-be immigrants in 2016, compared to about 1.2 million people in 2006. (In that same report, DHS called the 328,000 people captured in 2011 “a 40-year low.”)

Nor are terrorists represented in the border crossings, despite fervent insistence from the Trump administration that the southern border represents a terrorism risk. “It simply isn’t true,” wrote Nick Rasmussen, who until 2017 directed the government’s National Counterterrorism Center. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, asserted that “nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally.” But to substantiate that, administration data reported by NBC News found only six watchlisted people between Oct. 1, 2017 and Mar. 31, 2018 attempted the crossing—and the presence on the government’s broad terror watchlists is far from an indication of involvement in terrorism.

“There has always been this belief that because of the conditions in central and South America, terrorists would want to come up through that region of the world,” said John Cohen, former deputy under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS. “Notwithstanding that speculation, we’ve never seen it, the State Department in their country report, to date, they have not seen any examples.”

"The fact that he didn't mention terrorism in the speech suggests that the picture painted by the administration over the last few days of a major terrorist threat at the southern border just wasn't credible,” Cohen added.

If Tuesday night’s speech was designed to persuade Democrats that they were vulnerable politically on the topic of wall funding, it almost certainly did not do the trick. Prior to the address, Reuters released a poll that had the president shouldering a majority of the blame for the shutdown. And associates of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say she has become only emboldened in her position to not give more than the previously allocated $1.3 billion for border security since taking over the gavel.

“We just had an election where Democrats won 40 seats and he tried to make the wall a central component of the election,” said one close Pelosi ally. “So we aren’t really all that concerned about the politics of it.”

  • GROUNDED

    TSA Officers Are Already Quitting Over the Shutdown

    Pilar Melendez,

    Julia Arciga

As the political standstill seems likely to continue, the impact of this shutdown has also came into sharper focus. The Trump administration has put off most of the harsher consequences by finding administrative and legal loopholes to, among other things, keep parks open, issue tax refunds, and cover the cost for food stamps for an additional month. But within a matter of days, federal workers will likely miss a paycheck and some of those government programs have begun to shutter, including those specifically designed to help ameliorate the dysfunction at the southern border.

For immigrant communities, the standoff has had damaging effects as well, if only for the horrifying portrayal they’ve received at the hands of the president. At the headquarters of the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso’s Manhattan Heights neighborhood, director Fernando Garcia used a broom handle to turn on the projector to put Trump’s speech on a big screen for a gathering of Mexican-Americans, DACA recipients and migrants to watch the president’s remarks.

Afterward, Garcia addressed the crowd, saying Trump ”had nothing to offer but hate and fear.”

“This is not leadership,” Garcia said. “This is the petty politics of a small-minded racist. There’s no crisis. There never was. He’s lying about his hateful, destructive border wall.”

Jennifer Johnson, a policy adviser to the Southern Border Communities Coalition, a mega-grouping of 60 immigrants-rights and community organizations around the southwest, said Tuesday was a day of “intense discussion."

“It’s alarming. Folks know their communities. They don’t see a national emergency when they look out their back door,” Johnson told The Daily Beast minutes before Trump’s speech. “They do see a humanitarian crisis and people suffering, but the picture the president is painting is so far from the reality that people experience… We’d agree there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and it’s one of Trump’s own making.”

In his speech on Tuesday, Trump continued to portray migrants in dark terms. And though he did not directly address the consequences of the government remaining shuttered, he did cast blame for any impasse at the feet of Democrats who he said were only refusing to fund the border wall because of political expediency. Out of the view of the Oval Office, the president’s political operation sought to turn the shutdown—and Republican enthusiasm for a border wall itself—into a money-maker.

“Just look at the facts,” declared a fundraising email sent on Tuesday evening by a joint fundraising committee for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. “Drugs are poisoning our loved ones. MS-13 gang members are threatening our safety. Illegal criminals are flooding our nation. I want to make one thing clear to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi: Your safety is not a political game or a negotiation tactic!”

—With additional reporting by Justin Glawe from El Paso and Erin Banco and Sam Stein from Washington, D.C.


I'm not even pro-immigration, and I think this is pathetic and ridiculous.

So it'll probably be immensely popular and the Corp of Engineers will soon get busy on the Great Wall of Mexico. The rhetoric on both sides of this issue is far from reality based. It's a big political football, and we all know how Americans feel about football.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Trump Channels Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Fearmongers for the Wall
« Reply #3612 on: January 09, 2019, 12:20:48 PM »
Trump Channels Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Fearmongers for the Wall
Much of the Oval Office address echoed usual Trump rhetoric: hyperpartisan at points, and dripping with nativism. But in a notable way, Trump blinked.




I'm not even pro-immigration, and I think this is pathetic and ridiculous.

So it'll probably be immensely popular and the Corp of Engineers will soon get busy on the Great Wall of Mexico. The rhetoric on both sides of this issue is far from reality based. It's a big political football, and we all know how Americans feel about football.

Not gonna be a wall.
What is even more pathetic is that Da Wall is only a fetish object for a handful of hardliners. The same Freedumb Caucus types (and the major donors who love them) who have ratfucked bipartisan immigration reform on several previous occasions. It's not as if we don't know what the problems are or how to get to solutions. A handful of extremists have wielded a veto on the process.

Some years ago we used to say, "we don't negotiate with terrorists." I'd lump politicians who hold millions of workers hostage as terrorists, wouldn't you?

Or as a friend of mine on FB posted today...

January 2017 - GOP majority
January 2017 Wall not an emergency
February 2017 Wall not an emergency
March 2017 Wall not an emergency
April 2017 Wall not an emergency
May 2017 Wall not an emergency
June 2017 Wall not an emergency
July 2017 Wall not an emergency
August 2017 Wall not an emergency
September 2017 Wall not an emergency
October 2017 Wall not an emergency
November 2017 Wall not an emergency
December 2017 Wall not an emergency
January 2018 Wall not an emergency
February 2018 Wall not an emergency
March 2018 Wall not an emergency
April 2018 Wall not an emergency
May 2018 Wall not an emergency
June 2018 Wall not an emergency
July 2018 Wall not an emergency
August 2018 Wall not an emergency
September 2018 Wall not an emergency
October 2018 Wall not an emergency
November 2018 Wall not an emergency
November 2018 Democratic majority elected in House
January 2019 EMERGENCY!!!
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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It’s Not a Government Shutdown. It’s a Right-Wing Coup
« Reply #3613 on: January 09, 2019, 02:04:04 PM »
It’s Not a Government Shutdown. It’s a Right-Wing Coup.
Programs designed to help the vulnerable are gutted, while institutions designed to serve the rich and powerful remain unscathed.


By Adam H. Johnson

APRIL 28, 2017

Just as they did in October of 2013, the media is uniformly calling the selective starving of government by Republicans in Congress a “government shutdown.” It is anything but. The term “government shutdown” gives the public the false impression that the entire government is being shut down, when in reality, only a small percentage of the government gets shut down—and for starkly ideological reasons.

What we are really facing is a liberal government shutdown—which is to say programs designed to help the vulnerable and poor are gutted, while institutions designed to serve the rich and powerful remain unscathed.

If the last “shutdown” is any guide, the military, Trump’s luxurious vacations, soft power, our bombing of seven Muslim-majority countries, NSA bulk surveillance, agencies that prop up the oil and gas industry, the CIA’s arming and funding of Syrian rebels, and the FBI’s entrapment regime will remain entirely untouched. The parts of government that serve the poor and working class, however, will be first on the chopping block: libraries, tax collection, national parks, labor and safety regulators, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (which oversees the derivatives market), environmental regulators, financial regulators, welfare, and WICwill all be axed. Indeed, the one time the government got remotely close to undermining, even briefly, a pillar of the right-wing state, the powers that be arbitrarily decided to leave the Defense Department virtually untouched.

In principle, the criteria of what is and isn’t “essential” is determined by unelected agency and department heads using guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget based on a Department of Justice opinion authored in 1980 by then–Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti. That determination, according to McClatchy, defines “essential” activities as those that “protect life and property”—a fundamentally reactionary (and curiously unexamined) criterion that elevates property over justice, feeding people, and protecting the vulnerable.

At the height of the 2013 (manufactured) crisis, the DOJ and NSA used the “shutdown” to justify delaying work on civil-rights cases and post-Snowden reforms. When “property” is at stake, boutique, trivial concerns like combating racism and civil liberties are apparently expendable, while the urgent needs of the deep state and police state chug along. A breakdown of what was “shut down” by The Washington Post at the time put it best: “Although agencies like the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency will continue their operations, the Justice Departmentwill suspendmany civil cases for as long as the government is shut down.”

Funny how that works. Enough money to sting Muslims and low-level drug dealers but not enough to combat civil-rights violations.

When Congress passed laws over the past decades to feed the poor, educate people, and create public spaces, it didn’t mark these efforts as “nonessential.” This distinction is simply an extra-legal assertion by the government that’s been mindlessly accepted by the media and internalized by the broader public. But what is and isn’t “essential” isn’t a determination made by some objective bureaucrat simply calling balls and strikes; it’s the entire framework for how this right-wing administration and Congress will remake government in its image—all without input from the public.

As we build toward another choreographed, deliberate starvation of liberal government by the GOP, the media should think critically about finding other words for what’s taking place. A more precise term would be to call it a “soft right-wing coup” or simply a “right-wing coup.” If that seems too loaded, “Republican government starvation” or “attacks on liberal programs” would suffice. All of these terms are, by their very nature, fraught with subjective input, but so is “government shutdown”—a label that necessarily creates a tiered system of “essential” and “nonessential” functions based on the reactionary principle that “property” is an axiomatic good.

There’s the broader ideological coup as well. As Michael Zuckerman noted in The Atlantic in 2013, by calling it a “government shutdown” the left runs the risks that many Americans will not notice their lives change in a clear way as the months roll on. The ROI, or “return on investment,” of liberal government–education, science, children’s health–are not noticeable in an immediate and demonstrable way. Each day the “government shutdown” rolls on is another day the far right achieves another propaganda victory by giving the public the impression that government must not be very important if its wholesale closure has no impact on people’s lives.

If the Carpenters Local 926 union decided not to show up for work one day, would we call it a general strike? Of course we wouldn’t. Targeted and specific assaults on the government should be labeled as such, if not in the interest of properly informing the reader as to the animating forces behind it, at least in the interest of accuracy. Starving liberal institutions by triaging programs on ideological grounds without input from the public isn’t a “shutdown”; it’s a coup by another name. The media should start calling it one.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3614 on: January 09, 2019, 02:14:57 PM »
Using the budget as a blunt instrument should be illegal for the POTUS and/or the Congress. There should be an automatic continuing resolution to fund the departments until something gets hammered out...in all circumstances.

See how long it would take to reach a compromise if they cut off Trump's golf until it happened. Maybe take away his phone so he can't tweet.

The American people should be hopping mad.....but they're a bunch of passive doofuses.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 02:37:16 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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