AuthorTopic: The Surlynewz Channel  (Read 601552 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: Senators get classified briefing on UFO sighting
« Reply #3810 on: June 20, 2019, 04:15:40 PM »
For some reason TPTB are mainstreaming UFO information. The History Channel is running a series on this, of which I watched the first yesterday. It appeared as fact based, credible and sober, offering interviews with serious military and political types with reputations to risk, in stark contrast to "Ancient Aliens," which is highly speculative and never sees a rabbit hole not worth jumping down.
Video evidence can be seen demonstrating how these craft regularly defy known laws of physics. Why they are sharing this now is anyone's guess/

More Sci-Fi distraction.

RE

A conclusion based on what evidence? Have you examined the case they made? Have you discovered new laws of physics that conform to the observed behavior of these craft?

Show your work.

Here ya' go....

This pop'd up on my radar today when I did a drive by at the witch intel website.



Every yeah-who, back yard, DIY 'er will most likely give it their best shot. Should up the 911 calls for help. What a hoot.
The cabal is desperate ! There throwing the whole buffet at us now.

https://www.exopolitics.org/navy-admiral-describes-reverse-engineering-program-involving-extraterrestrial-spacecraft/

What is this? the world of shade tree mechanics is now ginning up UFO-type craft?
Both you and RE need to get read in on what I am taking about before responding with spurious fantasies.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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The poisons released by melting Arctic ice
« Reply #3811 on: June 20, 2019, 04:19:34 PM »
The poisons released by melting Arctic ice
Pollution, anthrax - even nuclear waste - could be released by global warming


(Credit: Alamy)
  • By Tim Smedley
17 June 2019

In 2012, Sue Natali arrived in Duvanny Yar, Siberia, for the first time. Then a postdoctoral research fellow studying the effects of thawing permafrost due to climate change, she had seen photos of this site many times. Rapid thawing at Duvanny Yar had caused a massive ground collapse – a “mega slump” – like a giant sinkhole in the middle of the Siberian tundra. But nothing had prepared her for seeing it in person.

As you walk along you see what look like logs poking out the permafrost. But they aren’t logs, they are the bones of mammoths and other Pleistocene animals – Sue Natali

“It was incredible, really incredible”, she recalls while speaking to me from The Woods Hole Research Center, Massachusetts, where she is an associate scientist. “I still get chills when I think about it… I just couldn’t believe the magnitude: collapsing cliffs the size of multi-storey buildings … and as you walk along you see what look like logs poking out the permafrost. But they aren’t logs, they are the bones of mammoths and other Pleistocene animals.”

What Natali describes is the visible, dramatic effects of a rapidly warming Arctic. The permafrost – up until now, permanently frozen land and soil – is thawing out, and revealing its hidden secrets. Alongside Pleistocene fossils are massive carbon and methane emissions, toxic mercury, and ancient diseases.

(Credit: Sue Natali)

The organic-rich permafrost holds an estimated 1,500 billion tonnes of carbon. “That’s about twice as much carbon in the atmosphere, and three times as much carbon than that stored in all the world’s forests”, says Natali. She explains that between 30% and 70% of the permafrost may melt before 2100, depending on how effectively we respond to climate change. “The 70% is business as usual, if we continue to burn fossil fuels at our current rate, and 30% is if we vastly reduce our fossil fuel emissions… Of the 30-70% that thaws, the carbon locked up in organic matter will begin to be broken down by microbes, they use it as fuel or energy, and they release it as CO2 or methane.”

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Around 10% of the carbon that does defrost will probably be released as CO2, amounting to 130-150 billion tonnes. That is equivalent to the current rate of total US emissions, every year until 2100. Melting permafrost effectively introduces a new country at number two on the highest emitters list, and one that isn’t accounted for in current IPCC models. “People talk about a carbon bomb,” says Natali. “In geological timescales this is not a slow release. It is a pool of carbon that is locked away and is not accounted for in the carbon budget to keep rises below two degrees (Celsius).”

The Northern Hemisphere winter of 2018/2019 was dominated by headlines of the “polar vortex”, as temperatures plummeted unusually far south into North America. In South Bend, Indiana, it reached -29C in January 2019, almost twice as low as the city’s previous record set in 1936. What such stories masked, however, was that the opposite was happening in the far North, beyond the Arctic circle. January 2019 also saw Arctic sea ice average just 13.56 million square kilometres (5.24 million square miles), some 860,000 square kilometres (332,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average, and only slightly above the record low reached in January 2018.

(Credit: Alamy)

In November, when temperatures should have been -25C, a temperature of 1.2C above freezing was recorded at the North Pole. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world (in part due to the loss of solar reflectivity).

“We are seeing a big increase in the thaw of permafrost”, confirms Emily Osborne, program manager for the Arctic Research Program, NOAA, and editor of the Arctic Report Card, an annual peer-reviewed environmental study of the Arctic. As a direct result of rising air temperatures, she says, the permafrost is thawing and “the landscape is physically crumbling as a result… things are changing so fast, and in ways that researchers hadn’t even anticipated.”

The headline of the 2017 Arctic Report Card pulled no punches: “Arctic shows no sign of returning to a reliably frozen region”. One paper co-authored by Hanne Christiansen, professor and vice dean of education at University Centre Svalbard, Norway, studied permafrost temperatures at a depth of 20 metres (that's 65ft, far enough down not to be affected by short-term seasonal changes) and found temperatures had risen by up to 0.7C since 2000. Christiansen, who is also president of the International Permafrost Association, tells me, “temperatures are increasing inside the permafrost at relatively high speed… then, of course, what was permanently frozen before can become released.” In 2016, the autumn temperatures in Svalbard remained above zero throughout November, “the first time this has happened in the records that we have, going back to 1898”, says Christiansen. “Then large amounts of rain came – the precipitation here is typically snow… we had mudslides crossing roads for 100s of metres… we had to evacuate some parts of the population.”

(Credit: Getty Images)

In some places in the Alaskan Arctic, you fly over a swiss cheese of land and lakes formed by ground collapse – Sue Natali

The rapid change in North American permafrost is equally alarming. “In some places in the Alaskan Arctic, you fly over a swiss cheese of land and lakes formed by ground collapse,” says Natali, whose fieldwork has moved from Siberia to Alaska. “Water that was close to the surface now becomes a pond.” Many of these ponds are bubbling with methane, as microbes suddenly find themselves with a feast of ancient organic matter to munch on, releasing methane as a by-product. “We often walk across the lakes because it’s so shallow and it’s like you’re in a hot tub in some places, there is so much bubbling,” says Natali.

(Credit: Alamy)

But methane and CO2 are not the only things being released from the once frozen ground. In the summer of 2016, a group of nomadic reindeer herders began falling sick from a mysterious illness. Rumours began circling of the “Siberian plague”, last seen in the region in 1941. When a young boy and 2,500 reindeer died, the disease was identified: anthrax. Its origin was a defrosting reindeer carcass, a victim of an anthrax outbreak 75 years previously. The 2018 Arctic report card speculates that, “diseases like the Spanish flu, smallpox or the plague that have been wiped out might be frozen in the permafrost.” A French study in 2014 took a 30,000 year-old virus frozen within permafrost, and warmed it back up in the lab. It promptly came back to life, 300 centuries later. (To read more, see BBC Earth’s piece on the diseases hidden in ice.)

Adding to this apocalyptic vision, in 2016 the Doomsday Vault – a sub-permafrost facility in Arctic Norway, which safeguards millions of crop seeds for perpetuity – was breached with meltwater. And listed amongst the membership of The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost, is Swedish Nuclear Waste Management who presumably also rely on a permanently frozen permafrost (when BBC Future approached them for comment on this point, they did not respond).

Long-preserved human archaeology may also be emerging, but just as quickly lost. A frozen Palaeo-Eskimo site in Greenland, preserved for some 4,000 years, is at risk of being washed away. This is just one of an estimated 180,000 archaeological sites preserved in the permafrost, often with soft tissues and clothing that uniquely remain intact but would rot quickly if exposed. Adam Markham, of the Union of Concerned Scientists has said, “with rapid, human-caused climate change, many sites or the artefacts they contain, will be lost before they have been discovered.”

More modern (and unwanted) human detritus will, however, not rot away: marine microplastics. Due to circular global marine currents, much plastic waste ends up in the Arctic, where it becomes frozen in sea ice or permafrost. A recent study of marine micro-particles demonstrated that concentrations were higher in the Arctic Basin than all other ocean basins in the world. Microplastic concentrations in the Greenland Sea doubled between 2004 and 2015. “Scientists are finding that those microplastics are accumulating across the entire ocean and being dumped into the Arctic”, explains Osborne. “This is something we didn’t [previously] realise was a problem. What scientists are trying to find out now is the composition of these microplastics, what sort of fish are feeding on these… and whether we are essentially eating microplastics through eating these fish.”

(Credit: Alamy)

Mercury is also entering the food chain, thanks to thawing permafrost. The Arctic is home to the most mercury on the planet. The US Geological Survey estimates there’s a total of 1,656,000 tonnes of mercury trapped in polar ice and permafrost: roughly twice the global amount in all other soils, oceans, and atmosphere. Natali explains that, “mercury often binds up with organic material in places where you have high organic matter content… organism’s bodies don’t remove it, so it bio-accumulates up the food web. Permafrost is almost the perfect storm – you have a lot of mercury in permafrost, it is released into wetland systems, those are the right environment for organisms to take them up, and then [it] heads up the food web. That’s a concern for wildlife, people, and the commercial fishing industry.”

Are there some positives of a thawing Arctic? Could a greener Arctic start to see more trees and vegetation take root, sequestering more carbon and offering new grazing land for animals? Osborne agrees that “the Arctic is greening”. But she adds that studies of animal populations actually suggest that, “warmer temperatures also increase the prevalence of viruses and disease, so we’re seeing a lot more caribou and reindeer becoming more sickly as a result of this warming climate… it is just not an environment that is suited to thrive at these warmer temperatures.” Natali also says that many areas are experiencing “Tundra browning”: the higher temperatures lead surface water to evaporate into the atmosphere, causing plants to die off. Other areas are experiencing sudden flooding due to the ground collapsing. “It’s not happening in 2100 or 2050, it’s now”, says Natali. “You hear people say ‘we used to pick blueberries over there’, and you look over there and it’s a wetland.”

Natali doesn’t want to end the conversation on a downer. There is a lot we can do, she says. The fate of the Arctic is not a foregone conclusion: “The actions taken by the international community will have a substantial impact on just how much carbon will be released and how much of the permafrost will thaw. We need to keep as much of the permafrost as we can frozen. And we do have some control of that.” Our emissions cannot remain “business as usual”. The Arctic depends on it. And we depend on the Arctic.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 04:29:06 PM by Surly1 »
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline RE

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3812 on: June 20, 2019, 04:31:16 PM »
I reviewed this video from Smithsonian.  The rest of the vids I Googled came from MSM Newz sources.  I found nothing in it to establish Aliens responsible for UFO sightings.  If you have something more conclusive, paste it to review here.  I don't have time to research this stuff.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/U2teFYr-o2s" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/U2teFYr-o2s</a>

RE
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Offline Surly1

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This place has enough creepy old men’: GOP vows to crush Roy Moore
« Reply #3813 on: June 20, 2019, 05:13:47 PM »
This place has enough creepy old men’: GOP vows to crush Roy Moore
Republicans fear the conservative firebrand accused of sexual misconduct will cost them a crucial Senate seat.


Republicans are promising to do everything they can to obliterate Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate primary.

A push is underway to get President Donald Trump involved in derailing Moore. Republicans are actively moving to recruit Jeff Sessions to run for his old seat. And GOP leaders are warning the party will jeopardize perhaps its only chance at picking up a Senate seat next year if they let Democrat Doug Jones get his favored match-up.

"There will be a lot of efforts made to ensure that we have a nominee other than him and one who can win in November,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). “He’s already proven he can’t.”

Added Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “We’ll be opposing Roy Moore vigorously."

Moore famously lost to Jones in 2017 after the Alabama Republican was besieged by sexual misconduct allegations from his past and he lost the support of key GOP officials. His reemergence as a candidate Thursday evoked palpable disgust among Republican senators as it dawned on them they will have to confront him once again before he potentially costs them another seat.

“Give me a break. This place has enough creepy old men,” said Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), referring to Washington, when asked about Moore's candidacy.

“The people of Alabama are smarter than that,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who as leader of the party’s campaign arm at the time vowed to try and expel Moore from the Senate if he won. “They certainly didn’t choose him last time, why would they choose him this time?”

A Moore candidacy could harm Republicans’ national brand if he catches fire again, and incumbents running in purple states — like Gardner and McSally — are loath to find themselves tied to him. And facing a tougher 2020 map with several battleground seats in play, Republicans are eager to beat Jones and cushion their majority.

If Republicans do defeat Jones, that would require Democrats to pick up a minimum of four seats elsewhere to take the Senate. Alabama should be an easy pickup for Republicans, given the state’s bright red hue and Trump’s popularity, which is why Moore’s new run is causing such alarm in the GOP.

“You think it’s been divisive before? It gets really divisive on the other side,” Jones said of Moore’s Senate bid. Moore defeated former Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in 2017 despite significant support from the party establishment.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has talked to Sessions about running for his old seat, which he left to become attorney general for Trump. Sessions did not indicate to him whether he will run, but Republicans said privately that the four-term senator could face his own problems as a candidate, given Trump’s antipathy for Sessions’ service in his administration.

Sessions suggested last year in an interview with POLITICO that he was done with politics, raising doubts that he would try and take on Moore.

“If Sessions runs, I think he would dominate the field. Now, I don’t know if he’ll run. He hasn’t said he wouldn’t run,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “I would oppose Roy Moore. … I will not be by myself, I hope. I think Alabama can do better than that.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and former Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville are already in the race, and Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) is considering it. But that crowded field could easily play to Moore’s advantage given his past popularity with the state’s most conservative voters. What's more, Moore also could conceivably win a general election with Trump atop the ticket, a nightmare for the Senate GOP that would then have to deal with a bomb-thrower in the caucus.

The president and his son, Donald Trump Jr., have already expressed their dissatisfaction with Moore’s run. Trump tweeted last month that Moore “cannot win,” and Trump Jr. tweeted Thursday that “Roy Moore is going against my father and he’s doing a disservice to all conservatives across the country in the process.”

“The people of Alabama rejected Roy Moore just a few months ago. And I don’t see that anything has changed,” said Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Yet Moore has been unbowed by that criticism, seeking to run once against as an outsider against the establishment. Republicans largely pulled their support from his bid after the sexual misconduct allegations were reported by the Washington Post, leaving Moore adrift in a race that should have been an easy GOP hold.

On Thursday, Moore called out Young for opposing his candidacy and slammed both the NRSC and the Senate Leadership Fund, an outside group that spent heavily against Moore in 2017. He accused the NRSC of running a “smear campaign” and bashed Shelby for doubting his viability.

“Why such a hatred and opposition to somebody running? Why does mere mention of my name cause people just to get up in arms in Washington, D.C.?" Moore said at a news conference Thursday.

That combative stance is leading some Republicans to suggest Trump may have to do more, because otherwise “we probably lose the seat,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

“I’m concerned,” Cornyn said. “If President Trump came out forcefully against him … that would certainly make it more likely that somebody else will get nominated.”

Yet Republicans are also wary of doing anything that could repeat the debacle of 2017, when support from Senate Republicans seemed to weigh on Strange and give Moore an opening in the primary. The Senate Leadership Fund is not yet vowing to spend in the race, waiting to see if his candidacy will fall apart on its own, and senators said they need to have a lighter touch this time around to stop Moore from succeed.

“We will do everything we can to stop him. But we need to be careful about that,” said one Republican senator. “We have to be more elegant.”

James Arkin contributed to this story.

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

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3814 on: June 20, 2019, 05:25:02 PM »
I reviewed this video from Smithsonian.  The rest of the vids I Googled came from MSM Newz sources.  I found nothing in it to establish Aliens responsible for UFO sightings.  If you have something more conclusive, paste it to review here.  I don't have time to research this stuff.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/U2teFYr-o2s" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/U2teFYr-o2s</a>

RE

Nothing in the videos that I referenced alleges that the UFOs are of alien origin. The sightings are the responsibility of the pilots and officers who have put their reputations and c careers) on the line to testify to the reality of information the government has been sitting on for fifteen years. the fact is that whither the provenance of these craft, their capabilities are far beyond anuytnging the military of the USG possesses.

If you don't have the time to "research" this stuff, you might reconsider your eagerness to squat down and squeeze out a dismissive comment.

You know as well as I that people have been citing UFOs for generation, an d the official story seems to have changed. Professional military have been stymied in getting this stuff up the chain of command. The program opines that fundy Christian generals at the top of the USMIC food chain have suppressed material they believe is "demonic." Who knows? The top echelon of the USM is in thrall to fundamentalists, especially the Air Force.

My point in bringing this forward is to remark on the fact  that people are now talking abut the un-talk-about-able.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline RE

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3815 on: June 20, 2019, 06:51:44 PM »
I reviewed this video from Smithsonian.  The rest of the vids I Googled came from MSM Newz sources.  I found nothing in it to establish Aliens responsible for UFO sightings.  If you have something more conclusive, paste it to review here.  I don't have time to research this stuff.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/U2teFYr-o2s" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/U2teFYr-o2s</a>

RE

Nothing in the videos that I referenced alleges that the UFOs are of alien origin. The sightings are the responsibility of the pilots and officers who have put their reputations and c careers) on the line to testify to the reality of information the government has been sitting on for fifteen years. the fact is that whither the provenance of these craft, their capabilities are far beyond anuytnging the military of the USG possesses.

If you don't have the time to "research" this stuff, you might reconsider your eagerness to squat down and squeeze out a dismissive comment.

You know as well as I that people have been citing UFOs for generation, an d the official story seems to have changed. Professional military have been stymied in getting this stuff up the chain of command. The program opines that fundy Christian generals at the top of the USMIC food chain have suppressed material they believe is "demonic." Who knows? The top echelon of the USM is in thrall to fundamentalists, especially the Air Force.

My point in bringing this forward is to remark on the fact  that people are now talking abut the un-talk-about-able.

Of course the MIC is always flying unidentified objects for testing under TOP SECRET classification.  That's Newz?  ???   :icon_scratch:

Lockheed & Boeing can't even build typical technology that works.  I'm not real worried about the shit they test, other than the exorbitant amount of money that gets wasted on it.

And no, I don't have to research every topic in order to have an opinion on it.  I'm not going to watch every last Jordan Peterson video that Watson puts up on the brief occasions he is out on Parole either, but I can express the opinion that he is full of shit.

RE
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Offline Surly1

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Next Contestant, Iran: Meet America’s Permanent War Formula
« Reply #3816 on: June 21, 2019, 03:05:19 AM »
Dept. of Come On Down!
Next Contestant, Iran: Meet America’s Permanent War Formula
When it comes to starting wars, we don’t even bother to change the script anymore.



The crude oil tanker Front Altair on fire in the Gulf of Oman, 13 June 2019.
STRINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock


MATT TAIBBI

Here we go again. Iran has not only shot down an American spy drone over the Strait of Hormuz, but refuses to feel bad about it.

Iran’s General Hossein Salami — one assumes this is a real person — said of the drone downing, “We are completely ready for the war. Today’s incident is a clear sign of this accurate message.”

We all know what this means. This aggression will not stand, man.

Depending on who’s doing the counting, the United States has attempted to overthrow foreign governments roughly 72 times since World War II. The script is often the same, and the Iran drama is following it. Go back through history and you’ll often see these elements:

A FARAWAY STATE COMMITS AN ACT OF “AGGRESSION”

In August of 1964, Lyndon Johnson told the American people that North Vietnamese, in an “outrage,” fired at the USS Maddox and two destroyers in “open aggression on the high seas.” Explaining that “our response, for the present, will be limited and fitting,” LBJ assured us that “firmness in the right is indispensable today for peace.”

We now know there was no second torpedo attack by the North Vietnamese. Cables suggested the U.S. was returning fire because an “overeager sonarman… was hearing ship’s own propeller beat.”

A year later, Johnson himself would say, “For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.”

The Iranian “aggression” case is another murky high-seas drama. It was reported that recent damage to a pair of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman bore “a striking resemblance” to the signature of “devices in Iran’s arsenal.” The initial New York Times story about the damage to tankers in May suggested a link to photos taken of missiles loaded into small boats by “Iranian paramilitary forces.”

In neither of these news stories was it mentioned that the tankers in question weren’t American (of the four hit so far, one was Norwegian, one Japanese, and two Saudi). Still, the United States released black-and-white images purporting to show Iranian Revolutionary Guards trying to remove an unexploded mine from the hull of the Japanese ship, i.e. to hide the evidence.

Sometimes the “aggression” is more real than in others (Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait is a little different from a “sketchy” late-night firefight in Panama), but the result is usually the same. It somehow never strikes Americans as odd, however, that the “aggression” takes place in or around a faraway country with no ability to attack the territorial United States.

The American military is always portrayed as being in a defensive posture, even when it’s many thousands of miles from home, on or even inside the border of another sovereign state. Would we consider ourselves aggressors if we shot down an Iranian drone in Cape Cod Bay? We’ve become so used to these stories, they no longer strike us as odd.

INTELLIGENCE TELLS US THERE IS IMMINENT THREAT OF MORE AGGRESSION

In early May, anonymous American officials said there were “multiple threat streams” from Iran and U.S. forces might be in danger in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, and other places. This triggered a decision to deploy a carrier group and other forces to the Middle East.

It goes without saying that we’ve seen this one before, most infamously in the case of the Iraq invasion, a caper Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton had a hand in. In the second Iraq war, there were intelligence leaks of everything from mysterious uranium purchases to meetings between Iraqis and 9/11 bombers.

We also of course saw this in the first Gulf War, when President Bush told us Iraq had massed an “enormous war machine” on the Saudi Arabian border, in preparation for further incursions. Subsequently we found out the “enormous war machine” reports were much exaggerated, and the Saudis were probably never in danger.

There were air strikes in Iraq and Syria in 2014 after the U.S. gathered “information on specific, concrete plotting” by the Khorasan terrorist group, and Reagan in 1983 even went on TV to tell America that the airport in Grenada could be used by Soviet long range bombers, and that Cubans there had enough ammo there to supply “thousands of terrorists.”

Some Democrats in this case are saying people like Bolton (who’s wanted war with Iran since his first mustache) and Mike Pompeo are trying to “twist the intel” to make it seem like Iran is bent for war. Connecticut’s Chris Murphy tweeted, “that’s not what the intel says.” Such complaints from the opposing party are not unusual:

THE MINORITY PARTY COMPLAINS THAT CONGRESS HAS NOT BEEN CONSULTED

This has been a running theme with both parties since 2001 especially, when the United States passed the Authorization for Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF). When Republicans are in power, Democrats complain they haven’t been consulted about the use of force, as they did following an increased troop deployment to Iraq in 2007 (Joe Biden even said this was an impeachable offense).

Republicans were shocked, shocked that the Obama administration attacked Libya without congressional approval back in 2011, and again when Obama bombed Syria in 2013, and again when Obama bombed Syria in 2016 (Republicans also criticized Obama for asking for congressional permission in a 2014 bombing campaign). The tables turned again in 2017, when people like Nancy Pelosi said Donald Trump’s decision to bomb Syria “needs oversight,” and in 2018, when congressional Democrats criticized Trump again for bombing Syria without their permission.

Now, with Iran, multiple Democrats are doing the same dance, arguing the AUMF couldn’t apply to a conflict with that country. In a lot of these cases, lawmakers in question aren’t actually opposing military action, they’re just saying the president should ask them before they do it. The transparently political nature of these protestations makes it difficult to sort out when members of congress genuinely have reservations about imminent military conflict (as they actually might in the Iran case).

THE FOREIGN AGGRESSOR IS FOUND IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

This is often true! Sometimes, however, it isn’t. The pretext for invasion of Iraq was a supposed violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution requiring disarmament. You might remember Colin Powell saying Iraq was in “material breach.”

Iran has just announced that 10 days from now, it will be in breach of international agreements on its permitted levels of enriched uranium. Added to the intelligence about the tanker “attacks” and warnings of “multiple threat streams,” the political justification for invasion will be there. Precedent suggests Trump could just use the AUMF again to attack Iran because, why not? We’ve been doing that all over the Middle East for nearly two decades.

The “violation of international law” argument would probably carry more weight if it weren’t also true that basically every American military action in the last half-century has been considered illegal under international law by someone. This is a conclusion that’s been reached about the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the NATO bombing of Kosovo, the entire U.S. drone assassination program, the coalition bombing of Libya, and other campaigns.

Trump’s decision to exit the Obama-era nuclear deal may have led to increased belligerence by the Iranians, or it may not have. Did we send spy drones toward Iran to be shot down because we no longer have the access we might have had under the Obama deal, or because we’ve been spying on Iran with drones anyway, for a while now (Iran even built a “copy” of an RQ-170 Sentinel drone that crashed in Iranian territory in 2011)?

The bizarre consolation in all of this is that Trump himself doesn’t appear thrilled with the idea of going to war with Iran. When Iran shot down the drone, Trump said it was “hard to believe it was intentional” and might have been done by someone who was “loose and stupid,” despite the aforementioned General Salami saying Iran was “ready for war” after it happened. This is an area where we actually want to encourage the all-hat-no-cattle side of our president.

The seeming ambivalence of Trump while the likes of Bolton and Mike Pompeo burn through the same old invasion-pretext script presents a powerful case that this is just how the American state operates, irrespective of who sits in the White House.

What we end up calling “aggression” abroad is often more like resistance to our plans to control a region. Sometimes the “aggressor” is genuinely behaving badly, and sometimes not, but for decades we’ve been lightning-quick to opt for military solutions to almost any crisis, for increasingly obvious reasons.

The politicians running the United States often owe their careers to military contractors. Their children typically don’t fight in wars. The mayhem, death, and environmental catastrophe that result from modern war never occur in their home states. It long ago became too easy to make this decision, and we’re on the brink of making it again. At least with Iraq we pretended to argue.

Iran isn’t Iraq, Serbia, Panama, or an airstrip in Grenada. This country has real military strike-back capabilities that the backwater states we’re used to invading simply do not, meaning war would present a far heightened danger not only to our troops but to civilians in the region. All our recent wars have been stupid, but this one would be really stupid. Just once, could we not do this? Does the script always have to end the same way?

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

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Congress Targets Middle-Class Retirement Savings
« Reply #3817 on: June 21, 2019, 09:23:10 AM »
DCReport.org is a really useful site to add to your news diet.

Congress Targets Middle-Class Retirement Savings

A Stealth Levy on IRAs and 401K Plans to Pay for Corporate and 1% Tax Cuts. Because the Waltons Just Don't Have Enough.


Congress Targets Middle-Class Retirement Savings
Economy, Featured Story, The Latest News

By Jillian S. Ambroz

Jillian S. Ambroz

If you thought it was a safe bet to put your money into retirement plans over the span of your career for estate planning, think again.

The government now wants to take a large cut via new stringent “death taxes” to make up for lost tax revenues thanks to Trump’s tax favors to the 1%.

Congress just passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act (SECURE Act) and the Senate has introduced a similar bill, the Retirement Enhancements and Savings Act of 2019(RESA)—both with bipartisan support. And there’s talk that Congress is eager to pass something, likely a compromise between the two bills, before going home and facing constituents over the summer.

The SECURE Act, which was introduced by Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), has been billed as an “enhancement” for IRA and retirement plan owners—because it allows them to make significantly higher contributions to work retirement plans and eliminates the previous cutoff age of 70.5-years.

But what it really does, in a tidy little buried provision, is take aim at Middle Class America by increasing the income tax for non-spouse beneficiaries of anyone who held north of $400,000 in their IRA, Roth IRA or 401(K) plans by forcing them to cash out over a 10-year period with massive tax implications.

The existing law allows heirs of IRA owners to extend the taxable distributions of an inherited IRA over their lifetime, hence the name “stretch IRAs.” This bill, and the similar one the Senate is proposing, RESA—allows $400,000 of aggregated IRAs to stretch per beneficiary, but chops the cash-out period down to five years for the balance—will likely toll the death knell for stretch IRAs, making retirement and estate planning much more complex.

ACTION BOX/What You Can Do About It

Contact your representatives and senators and share your thoughts on this aggressive new taxation policy.

Educate yourself on this issue and your options. Lange Financial Group has excellent resources and is preparing a book on the effects of this new legislation, available this month.

What does that mean, exactly? Most likely, it affects heads of families who have socked away money over their lifetime to pass on inheritance to their families. But now, non-spouse beneficiaries of that financial prudence could face a double whammy of having their inheritance gouged by Uncle Sam and unwittingly getting launched into a much higher tax bracket. The proposed laws do not affect spousal beneficiaries or minor children named as beneficiaries, children with disabilities, etc.

Financial adviser James Lange

“The big difference for anyone who wanted favorable tax protection for their children all along, played by the rules, made sacrifices—the assumption is that late in the game, after you detrimentally relied on this, the government changes its mind and says we’ll tax the heck out of your kids when you die,” James Lange told DCReport. “The difference is instead of your kids having $2 million, your kids will be broke because the income tax acceleration reduces the IRA so much.”

Lange is an attorney and Certified Public Accountant with Pittsburgh-based Lange Financial Group, LLC. He has been sounding the alarm on this issue for years and refers to the SECURE Act as the “Extreme Death-Tax for IRA and Retirement Plan Owners Act.”

Lange considers the new bill “massively unfair,” noting how IRA and retirement-plan owners were encouraged to contribute the maximum for many years, thinking their children would get favorable tax treatment after they died. “The last major tax bill gave enormous tax breaks to the top .01%,” he said. “Then, to help pay for it, Congress is going after the children of middle-class IRA and retirement-plan owners who worked hard to provide a legacy for their family.”

The forced annual distribution of these savings and retirement plans by beneficiaries is the primary revenue vehicle of RESA. In fact, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa), who proposed the bill, said on the Senate floor recently that the RESA bill “is paid for” by this provision.

Americans are already direly concerned about their retirements. Three-fourths of Americans say the nation faces a retirement crisis, according to a report by the National Institute on Retirement Security and Greenwald & Associates. The study, titled Retirement Insecurity 2019, also found that a majority of Americans believe they won’t be able to save enough on their own to achieve and sustain financial security in retirement. And, finally, more than 80% of Democrats, Republicans and Independents believe the government is out of touch and does not understand how difficult it is to prepare for retirement.

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

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Who's Gonna Make Him?
« Reply #3818 on: June 21, 2019, 09:42:43 AM »
I've been telling people about this for the better part of the last year, and people roll their eyes like I'm crazy. "That's impossible," they would say. that would be more outrageous than ignoring a Congressional subpoena. Now two articles on this very thing moved this week.

Trump Loves to Say He May Not Leave Office After Two Terms, and It’s Dangerous
We are living in a time where the unbelievable has become believable


Donald Trump

James Veysey/Shutterstock

Donald Trump thinks his supporters will want him to serve a third term, despite not yet winning a second. On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Pentagon and intelligence officials kept certain details from the president regarding a new U.S. military program that included cyber warfare attacks on Russia because of “the possibility that [Trump] might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials.”

On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump, angered by the story, took to Twitter to blast both the New York Times and the Washington Post, calling both “the Enemy of the People.” Included in his dangerous tweet, the president also floated the idea of staying in office longer that what is constitutionally allowable because his supporters might “demand that I stay longer.”

Cult of Personality: Ties to the Fringe

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US President Donald J. Trump (R) meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (not pictured) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 20 June 2019. US President Donald J. Trump spoke to the media about Iran shooting down an American drone, saying that the US reply will be known 'soon'.President Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Oval Office, Washington, USA - 20 Jun 2019
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Trump's Deutsche Bank Problems Are Not Going Away

As laughable or terrifying as that may sound, the notion that Trump would try to stay in office should not be scoffed at. We are living in a time where the unbelievable has become believable. As the Washington Post reminded us after the Mueller report was released, Trump shared a tweet from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. that called for extending his first term by two years “as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”

Back in April, Trump seemingly joked about changing term limits and just last month House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke about Democrats having to win back the White House by a “big” margin, as to hold off charges from Trump and his supporters who may question the legitimacy of the 2020 elections. “We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” Pelosi told the New York Times.

No matter what happens this election cycle or the next, the one thing we can be assured of, is that Donald Trump will not go quietly. And his repeated talk about not respecting the rule of law—let’s not forget he recently said to George Stephanopoulos that he would accept information on an opponent from a foreign country—should be a red flag to the Democratically-controlled House that still refuses to pursue impeachment.

Donald Trump

On Twitter last weekend, President Donald Trump pondered, “do you think the people would demand that I stay longer?” | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

WHITE HOUSE

What if Trump won’t accept 2020 defeat?

The situations all seem far-fetched, but the president's comments have people chattering in the halls of Congress and throughout the Beltway.

[url=https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/21/trump-election-2020-1374589]https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/21/trump-election-2020-1374589[/url]

In 2016, Donald Trump waffled over whether he would accept the election results if he lost.

Since then, Trump has repeatedly joked about staying in office beyond the two terms the Constitution allows. Jerry Falwell Jr., Trump’s most prominent evangelical supporter, has suggested Trump should get two years tacked on to his first term as “pay back” for the Mueller investigation. The president’s own former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has warned that “there will never be a peaceful transition of power” should Trump fail in his reelection bid.

The scenarios all seem far-fetched — “It’s almost a question for science fiction movies,” cracked a former top Secret Service official — but the constant drumbeat nonetheless has people chattering in the halls of Congress and throughout the Beltway: What if Trump won’t accept defeat in 2020?

And one scenario in particular has Democrats nervous: the lawsuit-happy Trump contests the election results in court.

“It’s been a worry in the back of my mind for the last couple years now,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat. California Rep. Ted Lieu, a frequent Trump critic and early impeachment inquiry supporter, acknowledged the same concern but said he trusted law enforcement “would do the right thing” and “install the winner” of the election. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told her party to prepare for the possibility that Trump contests the 2020 results.

Constitutional experts and top Republican lawmakers dismiss the fears as nonsense, noting there are too many forces working against a sitting president simply clinging to power — including history, law and political pressure.

“That is the least concern people should have. Of all the silly things that are being said, that may be the silliest,” said Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, who presided over the 2016 inauguration ceremony and expects to do so again in 2020. “The one thing we are really good at is the transition of power.”

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley said a lingering incumbent would simply become irrelevant once the new and duly elected president is sworn in. At that point, the defeated president is nothing more than a guest, “if not an interloper,” in the White House, the George Washington University professor noted.

“The system would make fast work on any president who attempted to deny the results of the election,” he said.

But a court battle over a presidential election is not unprecedented. And Trump has shown a willingness to tie up his disputes in winding litigation. The Democratic National Committee and Trump’s campaign were in court all the way up to Election Day 2016, fighting over charges of voter intimidation and ballot access.

“All candidates have a right to contest results in federal court,” Turley said. “It’s not up to the candidate to decide if an election is valid. It’s not based on their satisfaction or consent. They have every right to seek judicial review.”

Even so, contesting the results of the election in more than one state would be “a massive undertaking,” said Bradley Shrager, a lawyer specializing in election litigation who has worked with several Democratic campaigns. He added that “given the time frames to launch recounts and election contests, you’d have to be preparing months in advance to be able to do that.”

There are also deadlines for submitting an official electoral vote tally, Shrager said, so a legal battle wouldn’t drag out indefinitely.

Still, Pelosi’s comments nodded to the Democratic suspicion that Trump will put up a fight. She argued the Democrats’ must win by a margin so “big” that Trump can’t challenge the results.

The sentiment, Democrats say, is fueled by Trump’s cavalier attitude toward presidential term lengths.

Trump continues to talk up the prospect that he could serve past the constitutionally mandated period. On Twitter last weekend, Trump pondered, “do you think the people would demand that I stay longer?” The line mirrored language he used at a rally in Pennsylvania last month where he talked about living in the White House for 20 years.

“We ran one time and we’re 1-and-0. But it was for the big one. Now we’re going to have a second time. And we’re going to have another one. And then we’ll drive them crazy,” Trump said. “And maybe if we really like it a lot — and if things keep going like they’re going — we’ll go and we’ll do what we have to do. We’ll do a three and a four and a five.”

Trump also promoted Falwell Jr.’s line from May that the president should get two extra years “as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup”, retweeting the Liberty University president.

The president has long casually toyed with the idea that he could stay in office beyond the constitutionally set maximum.

In March 2018, Trump praised the ruling Communist Party of China for abolishing presidential term limits. Then, a month later, he publicly pondered why he couldn’t be in office for 16 years, an apparent reference to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died during his fourth term. The 22nd Amendment, ratified a few years after Roosevelt’s death, prohibited future presidents from serving more than two consecutive elected terms.

It’s not just talk of extending term limits that have raised questions about the president’s respect for the next cycle. During the 2016 campaign, Trump stoked fears among his supporters that the election would be “rigged” and he refused to state during his final debate with Hillary Clinton that he’d concede to his Democratic opponent if she won.

His crusade extended into Election Day when, just before 5 p.m., Trump incorrectly tweeted that “Utah officials report voting machine problems across entire country.” In fact, the problems were just in one county. And even after being declared the 2016 winner, Trump continued to state without evidence that “millions” of people voted illegally, fueling questions about whether he would have taken this argument to court if the result hadn’t gone his way.

When asked whether Trump would commit to conceding the 2020 election if he lost, the Trump reelection campaign turned the issue back on Democrats. It was Stacey Abrams, the rising Democratic star, who actually refused to concede defeat in her bid for the Georgia governorship, an aide noted.

“This question would be better asked of Stacey Abrams, who still refuses to accept that she lost the governor’s race in Georgia, or Hillary Clinton, for that matter, who still whines that her coronation was stolen,” the aide told POLITICO. “It’s also irrelevant, because President Trump will be re-elected in 2020.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

The stakes for Trump in 2020 are high. If he loses, the president will lose his immunity from criminal prosecution the moment his successor is sworn into the White House. And several Democratic presidential hopefuls have suggested their Justice Department would be hard-pressed not to bring charges against Trump for obstructing justice, using the evidence in special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report. Federal prosecutors in New York have also been reviewing potential campaign finance violations.

Confronted with Trump’s past remarks, Republicans remain largely unmoved.

“As untraditional a president as he is, I think he understands if you lose an election you lose an election and the other person wins,” said Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, a senior member of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. “There’s no chance of anything like that possibly happening. That’s just hysteria. No way would that ever happen.”

Chabot recalled getting similar questions about President Barack Obama holding on to power — serving more than two terms — before the 2016 election. “I didn’t want to laugh it off because these were my constituents. But I’d explain to them there’s no chance of that happening,” he said.

Unlike Obama, though, Trump has fanned the concerns with his rhetoric. He could also put all the scuttlebutt to rest if he wanted to, said John Q. Barrett, a St. John’s University law professor.

“He’s to blame at least in the minimal sense that he doesn’t shoot this down and say all the unequivocal, constitutionally obedient stuff that any president would say,” said Barrett, who served as an associate under Reagan-era independent counsel Lawrence Walsh. “Trump could pour a bucket of water on all this right away.”

The GOP may not take the idea seriously now. But they would be key to convincing Trump to concede in 2020 should the president resist an Electoral College loss, said Steven Levitsky, a comparative political scientist and professor of government at Harvard.

“No matter what the actual mechanisms are (which laws, which police), the key here is the Republican Party,” he said in an email.

The onus, Levitsky said, would fall to GOP leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to “come out and say, ‘Enough is enough, Trump lost.’”

Republicans to date have often given Trump the benefit of the doubt on controversial statements and actions. But Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, said he is confident that even a GOP that has embraced all-things Trump would rebuke a lame duck Trump if he refused to respect the election results

“Even my Republican colleagues, who are not willing to impeach, have said to me that they would not stand for a president defying a court-certified election result, nor would they stand for a president running for more than two terms,” he said.

Khanna added that he was more concerned with the integrity of the election itself, and “the shenanigans that could happen in the counting of the votes in these states.”

“It’s important to make sure that we have strong election protection lawyers in polling places around the country to prevent further interference, and verification on election night of each state’s results as they come in,” he said.

Despite giving assurances Trump would not cause problems if he lost, lawmakers can’t help but recall the most recent contested presidential election as an example of a close race that could become a model for an upside down 2020 race.

“I feel quite confident that whoever wins the next election will be president,” Chabot said. “Now, of course, that being said, then you have the 2000 Bush-Gore election. That was nuts.”

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

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The Dangerous Methane Mystery
« Reply #3819 on: June 22, 2019, 04:57:30 AM »
The Dangerous Methane Mystery


The Dangerous Methane Mystery

by 

Photograph Source: Mikenorton – CC BY-SA 3.0

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (“ESAS”) is the epicenter of a methane-rich zone that could turn the world upside down.

Still, the ESAS is not on the radar of mainstream science, and not included in calculations by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and generally not well understood. It is one of the biggest mysteries of the world’s climate puzzle, and it is highly controversial, which creates an enhanced level of uncertainty and casts shadows of doubt.

The ESAS is the most extensive continental shelf in the world, inclusive of the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea, and the Russian portion of the Chukchi Sea, all-in equivalent to the combined landmasses of Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan.

The region hosts massive quantities of methane (“CH4”) in frozen subsea permafrost in extremely shallow waters, enough CH4 to transform the “global warming” cycle into a “life-ending” cycle. As absurd as it sounds, it is not inconceivable.

Ongoing research to unravel the ESAS mystery is found in very few studies, almost none, except by Natalia Shakhova (International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska/Fairbanks) a leading authority, for example: “It has been suggested that destabilization of shelf Arctic hydrates could lead to large-scale enhancement of aqueous CH4, but this process was hypothesized to be negligible on a decadal–century time scale. Consequently, the continental shelf of the Arctic Ocean (AO) has not been considered as a possible source of CH4 to the atmosphere until very recently.” (Source: Natalia Shakhova, et al, Understanding the Permafrost–Hydrate System and Associated Methane Releases in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, Geosciences, 2019)

Shakhova’s “until very recently” comment explains, in part, why the IPCC does not include ESAS methane destabilization in its calculations. Meanwhile, Shakhova’s research has unearthed a monster in hiding, but thankfully, mostly in repose… for the moment. Still, early-stage warning signals are clearly noticeable; ESAS is rumbling, increasingly emitting more and more CH4, possibly in anticipation of a “Big Burp,” which could put the world’s lights out, hopefully in another century, or beyond, but based upon a reading of her latest report in Geosciences, don’t count on it taking so long.

Shakhova’s research is highlighted in a recent article in Arctic News: “When Will We Die?” d/d June 10, 2019, which states: “Imagine a burst of methane erupting from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean that would add an amount of methane to the atmosphere equal to twice the methane that is already there.”

Horror of horrors, the resulting equation is disturbing, to say the least, to wit: Twice the amount of CH4 that is already in the atmosphere equals a CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of 560 ppm, assuming CH4 is 150xs the potency of CO2 in its initial years. And, adding that new number to current CH4/CO2e of 280 ppm to current CO2 levels of 415.7 ppm, according to readings at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, equals total atmospheric CO2 of 1256 ppm.

In other words, if ESAS springs a big fat leak, the Big Burp, which would only be <5% of the existing frozen methane deposit; it is possible that atmospheric CO2e would zoom up go as high as 1256 ppm.

What happens next?

A recent third-party study, also referenced in the aforementioned Arctic News article d/d June 10th, concluded that at 1200 ppm atmospheric CO2 global heating cranks up by 8°C, or 14.4°F, within a decade. (Source: Arctic News d/d June 10, 2019). Truth be known, that scenario is not problematic, it’s catastrophic and too far along to be classified as a problem. After all, problems can be fixed; catastrophes are fatal.

According to Shakhova’s research, as referenced in Geosciences/ 2019: “Releases could potentially increase by 3–5 orders of magnitude, considering the sheer amount of CH4 preserved within the shallow ESAS seabed deposits and the documented thawing rates of subsea permafrost reported recently. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the ESAS permafrost–hydrates system, which is largely unfamiliar to scientists,” Ibid. (Side note: 3 orders of magnitude is equivalent to 1,000, i.e., a large methane release.)

More from Shakhova: “Here we present results of the first comprehensive scientific re-drilling to show that subsea permafrost in the near-shore zone of the ESAS has a downward movement of the ice-bonded permafrost table of ~14 cm (6 inches) year over the past 31–32 years… However, recent studies show that in some areas very recently submerged permafrost is close to or has already reached the thaw point,” Ibid.

Shakhova’s studies are based upon marine expeditions, including drill campaigns that investigate the thermal regime, geomorphology, lithology, and geocryology of sediment cores extracted from boreholes drilled from marine vessels and not based solely upon climate models calculated on desktop computers.

In conclusion, as the world community continues to accept the reality of climate change as an existential threat, which fact is emphatically spotlighted by the likes of the Children’s Crusade, originating out of Sweden, and the Extinction Rebellion, originating out of the UK, it is important to emphasize the timing factor. Nobody knows 100% for certain how the climate crisis will turn out, but there is pretty solid evidence that the issue, meaning several ecosystems which are starting to collapse in unison, is accelerating, by a lot. So, there is not much time left to do something constructive, assuming it’s not already too late. Speaking of which, a small faction of climate scientists has already “tossed in the towel.”

After all, it’s not that hard to understand their point of view as many ecosystems have already hit tipping points, which means no turning back, no fixes possible, but still, (and, here’s the great hope) nobody really knows 100% for sure how all of this will play out.

Nevertheless, in a perfect world that really/truly “follows the science” a Worldwide All-In Coordinated Marshall Plan to do “whatever it takes” would already be in a full-blastoff mode.

But… It’s not!

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

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China forcefully harvests organs from detainees, tribunal concludes
« Reply #3820 on: June 22, 2019, 05:14:50 AM »
China forcefully harvests organs from detainees, tribunal concludes
Organ transplant trade is worth $1 billion a year.



Chinese doctors perform a kidney transplant operation at the Second Xiangya Hospital of the Central South University in Changsha city, Hunan province.Fu zhiyong / Fu zhiyong - Imaginechina


By Saphora Smith

LONDON — The organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prison camps are being forcefully harvested — sometimes when patients are still alive, an international tribunal sitting in London has concluded.

Some of the more than 1.5 million detainees in Chinese prison camps are being killed for their organs to serve a booming transplant trade that is worth some $1 billion a year, concluded the China Tribunal, an independent body tasked with investigating organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in the authoritarian state.

“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale,” the tribunal concluded in its final judgment Monday. The practice is “of unmatched wickedness — on a death for death basis — with the killings by mass crimes committed in the last century,” it added.

In 2014, state media reported that China would phase out the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners and said it would rely instead on a national organ donation system.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday was not immediately available to comment on the tribunal's findings.

In a statement released alongside the final judgment, the tribunal said many of those affected were practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that China banned in the 1990s and has called an “evil cult.” The tribunal added that it was possible that Uighur Muslims — an ethnic minority who are currently being detained in vast numbers in western China — were also being targeted.

The tribunal is chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice, who worked as a prosecutor at the international tribunal for crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.

“Falun Gong practitioners have been one — and probably the main — source of organ supply,” the judgment read, while “the concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs is more recent,” using a different spelling of the minority group's name. It warned, however, that the scale of medical testing of the Uighur Muslims meant they could end up being used as an "organ bank."

The tribunal that delivered its judgment in London was initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China — a not-for-profit coalition including lawyers, academics, human rights advocates and medical professionals.

Allegations of forced organ harvesting first came to light in 2001, after a boom in transplant activity was registered in China, with wait times becoming unusually short, the statement said. Chinese websites advertised hearts, lungs and kidneys for sale and available to book in advance, suggesting that the victims were killed on demand, it added.

On Monday, the tribunal concluded that there was “numerical evidence” of the “impossibility of there being anything like sufficient ‘eligible donors’ under the recently formed PRC [People’s Republic of China] voluntary donor scheme for that number of transplant operations.”

The tribunal added that witnesses, experts and investigators had told of how Falun Gong practitioners continued to be killed in order for their organs to be extracted. It added that forced organ harvesting was also being performed while victims are still alive, killing the person in the process.

The statement recalled how one witness, Dr. Enver Tohti, told of how as a surgeon in China he had been required to perform organ extractions. Referring to one instance in which he extracted an organ from a living patient, he said: “What I recall is with my scalpel, I tried to cut into his skin, there was blood to be seen. That indicates that the heart was still beating … At the same time, he was trying to resist my insertion, but he was too weak.”

Several survivors of prison camps told the tribunal of how they were subjected to physical examinations including blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds, the statement said. “Experts report that the only reasonable explanation for these examinations was to ensure that victims’ organs were healthy and fit for transplantation,” it added. A healthy liver, for example, can reportedly be sold for some $160,000, according to the statement.

The tribunal concluded that it was "beyond reasonable doubt" that crimes against humanity had been committed against the Falun Gong and Uighur Muslims but that it could not prove that the killing of the Falun Gong amounted to genocide — because of the tribunal's inability to prove ‘intent’ to commit ‘genocide.’

In a statement accompanying the final judgment, the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China called on the international community to help bring an end to forced organ extraction.

“It is no longer a question of whether organ harvesting in China is happening, that dialogue is well and truly over. We need an urgent response to save these people’s lives,” Susie Hughes, executive director and co-founder of the coalition, said.

Saphora Smith reported from London. Dawn Liu and Ed Flanagan reported from Beijing.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 05:38:26 AM by Surly1 »
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

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The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps
« Reply #3821 on: June 23, 2019, 04:25:35 AM »
The ever-reliable Masha Gessen nails itk on the real Children of Men situation happing in the FSoA, and the attempts of the right wing language police to obfuscate the truth.

The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps

By Masha Gessen



The debate over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the term “concentration camp” is not about language or facts. It is about how we perceive history, ourselves, and ourselves in history.Photograph by Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters

Like many arguments, the fight over the term “concentration camp” is mostly an argument about something entirely different. It is not about terminology. Almost refreshingly, it is not an argument about facts. This argument is about imagination, and it may be a deeper, more important conversation than it seems.

In a Monday-evening live stream, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, called the U.S.’s detention facilities for migrants “concentration camps.” On Tuesday, she tweeted a link to an article in Esquire in which Andrea Pitzer, a historian of concentration camps, was quoted making the same assertion: that the United States has created a “concentration camp system.” Pitzer argued that “mass detention of civilians without a trial” was what made the camps concentration camps. The full text of Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet was “This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis.” Hackles were immediately raised, tweets fired, and, less than an hour and a half later, Representative Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, tweeted, “Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.” A high-pitched battle of tweets and op-eds took off down the much travelled dead-end road of arguments about historical analogies. These almost never go well, and they always devolve into a virtual shouting match if the Holocaust, the Nazis, or Adolf Hitler is invoked. One side always argues that nothing can be as bad as the Holocaust, therefore nothing can be compared to it; the other argues that the cautionary lesson of history can be learned only by acknowledging the similarities between now and then.

But the argument is really about how we perceive history, ourselves, and ourselves in history. We learn to think of history as something that has already happened, to other people. Our own moment, filled as it is with minutiae destined to be forgotten, always looks smaller in comparison. As for history, the greater the event, the more mythologized it becomes. Despite our best intentions, the myth becomes a caricature of sorts. Hitler, or Stalin, comes to look like a two-dimensional villain—someone whom contemporaries could not have seen as a human being. The Holocaust, or the Gulag, are such monstrous events that the very idea of rendering them in any sort of gray scale seems monstrous, too. This has the effect of making them, essentially, unimaginable. In crafting the story of something that should never have been allowed to happen, we forge the story of something that couldn’t possibly have happened. Or, to use a phrase only slightly out of context, something that can’t happen here.

A logical fallacy becomes inevitable. If this can’t happen, then the thing that ishappening is not it. What we see in real life, or at least on television, can’t possibly be the same monstrous phenomenon that we have collectively decided is unimaginable. I have had many conversations about this in Russia. People who know Vladimir Putin and his inner circle have often told me that they are not the monsters that I and others have described. Yes, they have overseen assassinations, imprisonments, and wars, but they are not thoroughly terrible, my interlocutors have claimed—they are not like Stalin and his henchmen. In other words, they are not the monsters of our collective historical imagination. They are today’s flesh-and-blood monsters, and this makes them seem somehow less monstrous.

Anything that happens here and now is normalized, not solely through the moral failure of contemporaries but simply by virtue of actually existing. Allow me to illustrate. My oldest son, who spent his early childhood in a Russian hospital, was for many years extremely small for his age. I spent useless hours upon hours in my study in Moscow, where we then lived, poring over C.D.C. growth charts. No matter how many times I looked, I couldn’t place him—he was literally off the chart. As far as the C.D.C. was concerned, my son, at his age, height, and weight, was unimaginable. When he was four, I took him to see a pediatrician in Boston. She entered his measurements into her computer, and a red dot appeared on the chart. I felt my body finally relax; my child was no longer impossible! He was on the chart. Then I realized that the pediatrician was working with an interactive chart. (This was in the early aughts, and there weren’t any available to me at home.) She had just put him in the system. His little red dot was still below the lowest, fifth-percentile curve. He was still the smallest child of his age. But a sort of cognitive trick had been performed. My son’s size had been documented, and this made him possible.

Donald Trump has played this trick on Americans many times, beginning with his very election: first, he was impossible, and then he was President. Did that mean that the impossible had happened—an extremely hard concept to absorb—or did it mean that Trump was not the catastrophe so many of us had assumed he would be? A great many Americans chose to think that he had been secretly Presidential all along or was about to become Presidential; they chose to accept that, now that he was elected, his Presidency would become conceivable. The choice between these two positions is at the root of the argument between Ocasio-Cortez and the critics of her concentration-camp comment. It is not an argument about language. Ocasio-Cortez and her opponents agree that the term “concentration camp” refers to something so horrible as to be unimaginable. (For this reason, mounting a defense of Ocasio-Cortez’s position by explaining that not all concentration camps were death camps misses the point.) It is the choice between thinking that whatever is happening in reality is, by definition, acceptable, and thinking that some actual events in our current reality are fundamentally incompatible with our concept of ourselves—not just as Americans but as human beings—and therefore unimaginable. The latter position is immeasurably more difficult to hold—not so much because it is contentious and politically risky, as attacks on Ocasio-Cortez continue to demonstrate, but because it is cognitively strenuous. It makes one’s brain implode. It will always be a minority position.

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

Offline RE

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Re: The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps
« Reply #3822 on: June 23, 2019, 06:51:23 AM »
The ever-reliable Masha Gessen nails itk on the real Children of Men situation happing in the FSoA, and the attempts of the right wing language police to obfuscate the truth.

The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps

By Masha Gessen



The debate over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the term “concentration camp” is not about language or facts. It is about how we perceive history, ourselves, and ourselves in history.Photograph by Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters

I can imagine it.  In many respects, it's WORSE than Bergen-Belsen or Auschwitz.  At least the Jews and Gypsies and other Poor People were put out of their misery fairly quickly in the Holocaust.  Here, they get to die a slow, agonizing death from disease, hunger and violence inside the camps.

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3823 on: June 23, 2019, 07:14:40 AM »
It's fairly despicable, but I don't think comparing it to Nazi Death Camps is a fair comparison.

It ain't right, but it ain't Auschwitz.

Godwin's law applies.......



Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies)is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches" that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds, the point at which effectively the discussion or thread often ends.[color]
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Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3824 on: June 23, 2019, 07:29:03 AM »
It's fairly despicable, but I don't think comparing it to Nazi Death Camps is a fair comparison.

It ain't right, but it ain't Auschwitz.

Godwin's law applies.......



Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies)is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches" that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds, the point at which effectively the discussion or thread often ends.[color]

So glad you brought up Mike Godwin. I'll just allow him to speak for himself, and EXACTLY in context:



Just so we're clear.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

 

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