AuthorTopic: The Surlynewz Channel  (Read 683226 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4020 on: November 27, 2019, 05:11:19 AM »
The largely-unread Senate Intelligence report on Russian interference should chill Americans.

"Senate" and "Intelligence" in the same sentence is an Oxymoron.

RE

Really? That's what you got?

Maybe you should try READING before commenting.
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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4021 on: November 27, 2019, 05:20:49 AM »
Really? That's what you got?

Maybe you should try READING before commenting.

I read just fine thanks.

RE
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Online K-Dog

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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4022 on: November 27, 2019, 07:04:09 AM »
Really? That's what you got?

Maybe you should try READING before commenting.

I read just fine thanks.

RE

I read it too.  I agree.  Really? That's what you got?

Clickbait from foreign countries did not make people stupid.  This is a case of confusing a symptom with a disease.  People were stupid to start with and domestic nonsense had way more influence than anything coming from Russia or anywhere else.  Hillary was bad news.  All American politicians are bad news.  Trump is what he is because there is a derth of alternatives.  America is without a fucking moral compass.  All Democrats have is a different form of inequality and actually, theirs is a bit more devious and cruel.

Quote
And finally, the committee made clear that Americans themselves need to both wake up and smarten up. Only by being more sophisticated and intelligent social media users will voters truly protect themselves and our elections in the years to come.


Ya Think !
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 07:12:43 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline Surly1

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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4023 on: November 27, 2019, 02:24:02 PM »
Really? That's what you got?

Maybe you should try READING before commenting.

I read just fine thanks.

RE

I read it too.  I agree.  Really? That's what you got?

Clickbait from foreign countries did not make people stupid.  This is a case of confusing a symptom with a disease.  People were stupid to start with and domestic nonsense had way more influence than anything coming from Russia or anywhere else.  Hillary was bad news.  All American politicians are bad news.  Trump is what he is because there is a derth of alternatives.  America is without a fucking moral compass.  All Democrats have is a different form of inequality and actually, theirs is a bit more devious and cruel.

Quote
And finally, the committee made clear that Americans themselves need to both wake up and smarten up. Only by being more sophisticated and intelligent social media users will voters truly protect themselves and our elections in the years to come.


Ya Think !

Denialbots, both of you. Enjoy your rubles.

Vlad is laughing.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4024 on: November 27, 2019, 02:48:54 PM »
Denialbots, both of you. Enjoy your rubles.

Vlad is laughing.

What am I denying?  Are you just in the mood to pick a fight here or what?

RE
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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4025 on: November 28, 2019, 11:44:55 AM »
Denialbots, both of you. Enjoy your rubles.

Vlad is laughing.

What am I denying?  Are you just in the mood to pick a fight here or what?

RE

I man goes to a carnival and finds a ring toss game where he can bet money.  Never mind the legality.  He tosses a ring and easily bets and wins a dollar.  The carnie operating the ring toss game looks at the mans shoes and see's they are nice.  The carnie lets the man bet $5 and win.  Six bucks ahead and the man now bets $20 and he loses.

The question is multiple choice.  Identify the asshole.

A.  The betting man is an asshole.
B.  The carnie running the game is an asshole. (did I mention he was Russian?)
C.   Neither man is an asshole.
D.   Both men are assholes.

It is sort of like two people having sex.  After they are done, identify the virgin.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 11:47:42 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4026 on: November 28, 2019, 12:03:51 PM »
Denialbots, both of you. Enjoy your rubles.

Vlad is laughing.

What am I denying?  Are you just in the mood to pick a fight here or what?

RE

I man goes to a carnival and finds a ring toss game where he can bet money.  Never mind the legality.  He tosses a ring and easily bets and wins a dollar.  The carnie operating the ring toss game looks at the mans shoes and see's they are nice.  The carnie lets the man bet $5 and win.  Six bucks ahead and the man now bets $20 and he loses.

The question is multiple choice.  Identify the asshole.

A.  The betting man is an asshole.
B.  The carnie running the game is an asshole. (did I mention he was Russian?)
C.   Neither man is an asshole.
D.   Both men are assholes.

It is sort of like two people having sex.  After they are done, identify the virgin.

I don't think this analogy is very good.

I am not having sex with anyone here, nor am I denying anything at all.  Surly's commentary make no sense on any level.

RE
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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4027 on: November 28, 2019, 12:32:37 PM »
Denialbots, both of you. Enjoy your rubles.

Vlad is laughing.

What am I denying?  Are you just in the mood to pick a fight here or what?

RE

I man goes to a carnival and finds a ring toss game where he can bet money.  Never mind the legality.  He tosses a ring and easily bets and wins a dollar.  The carnie operating the ring toss game looks at the mans shoes and see's they are nice.  The carnie lets the man bet $5 and win.  Six bucks ahead and the man now bets $20 and he loses.

The question is multiple choice.  Identify the asshole.

A.  The betting man is an asshole.
B.  The carnie running the game is an asshole. (did I mention he was Russian?)
C.   Neither man is an asshole.
D.   Both men are assholes.

It is sort of like two people having sex.  After they are done, identify the virgin.

I don't think this analogy is very good.

I am not having sex with anyone here, nor am I denying anything at all.  Surly's commentary make no sense on any level.

RE

There is a saying that a fool and his money are soon parted.  So it goes with sense.  If there was any Russian influence only men without thought or conviction could have been influenced to favor an agenda not in their interest.  An informed public with standards and values they believe in won't be manipulated and can't be manipulated.  Blaming Russians is not taking responsibility and admitting the truth that America is a land of morons who are easily swayed by bullshit.  Clueless wonders abound and it hurts to admit it.  But blaming Russians is childish and like saying the dog ate your homework.

The answer to my question above is that both men are assholes but it is not easy to see that.  The man with nice shoes wanted more, he was greedy and fate rewarded his acting like a child by putting him $16 bucks in the hole.  The carny is a clear asshole, a predator, but in a more subtle way, so is the man in shiny shoes.

You have had sex at least once.  You are not a virgin and it would be nonsense for you to claim to be one.  In the election of 2016 there was no innocence and it becomes not what Sodom said to Gomorrah that at all matters.  It is also water under the bridge because if it happened it will happen again and being angry won't change that.  Just getting angry never changes anything.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 12:40:22 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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Re: The most important document you may ever read
« Reply #4028 on: November 28, 2019, 12:46:39 PM »
Denialbots, both of you. Enjoy your rubles.

Vlad is laughing.

What am I denying?  Are you just in the mood to pick a fight here or what?

RE

I man goes to a carnival and finds a ring toss game where he can bet money.  Never mind the legality.  He tosses a ring and easily bets and wins a dollar.  The carnie operating the ring toss game looks at the mans shoes and see's they are nice.  The carnie lets the man bet $5 and win.  Six bucks ahead and the man now bets $20 and he loses.

The question is multiple choice.  Identify the asshole.

A.  The betting man is an asshole.
B.  The carnie running the game is an asshole. (did I mention he was Russian?)
C.   Neither man is an asshole.
D.   Both men are assholes.

It is sort of like two people having sex.  After they are done, identify the virgin.

I don't think this analogy is very good.

I am not having sex with anyone here, nor am I denying anything at all.  Surly's commentary make no sense on any level.

RE

There is a saying that a fool and his money are soon parted.  So it goes with sense.  If there was any Russian influence only men without thought or conviction could have been influenced to favor an agenda not in their interest.  An informed public with standards and values they believe in won't be manipulated and can't be manipulated.  Blaming Russians is not taking responsibility and admitting the truth that America is a land of morons who are easily swayed by bullshit.  Clueless wonders abound and it hurts to admit it.  But blaming Russians is childish and like saying the dog ate your homework.

The answer to my question above is that both men are assholes but it is not easy to see that.  The man with nice shoes wanted more, he was greedy and fate rewarded his acting like a child by putting him $16 bucks in the hole.  The carny is a clear asshole, a predator, but in a more subtle way, so is the man in shiny shoes.

You have had sex at least once.  You are not a virgin and it would be nonsense for you to claim to be one.  In the election of 2016 there was no innocence and it becomes not what Sodom said to Gomorrah that at all matters.  It is also water under the bridge because if it happened it will happen again and being angry won't change that.  Just getting angry never changes anything.

Elections are always "interfered" with.  There is no such thing as "Democracy", never has been.  I NEVER denied the Ruskies "interfered" in elections here.  Claiming I DENY this is a LIE!

RE
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Online K-Dog

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4029 on: November 28, 2019, 01:02:35 PM »
Tempest in a teapot.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline Surly1

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Harvesting the Blood of America’s Poor: The Latest Stage of Capitalism
« Reply #4030 on: December 03, 2019, 06:51:39 PM »
Literal Vampire Capitalism.

Harvesting the Blood of America’s Poor: The Latest Stage of Capitalism
Blood has become big business in the United States and there is no shortage of corporations ready to exploit America’s most vulnerable populations in order to get a piece of the pie.




by Alan Macleod

For much of the world, donating blood is purely an act of solidarity; a civic duty that the healthy perform to aid others in need. The idea of being paid for such an action would be considered bizarre. But in the United States, it is big business. Indeed, in today’s wretched economy, where around 130 million Americans admit an inability to pay for basic needs like food, housing or healthcare, buying and selling blood is of the few booming industries America has left. 

The number of collection centers in the United States has more than doubled since 2005 and blood now makes up well over 2 percent of total U.S. exports by value. To put that in perspective, Americans’ blood is now worth more than all exported corn or soy products that cover vast areas of the country’s heartland. The U.S. supplies fully 70 percent of the world’s plasma, mainly because most other countries have banned the practice on ethical and medical grounds. Exports increased by over 13 percent, to $28.6 billion, between 2016 and 2017, and the plasma market is projected to “grow radiantly,” according to one industry report. The majority goes to wealthy European countries; Germany, for example, buys 15 percent of all U.S. blood exports. China and Japan are also key customers.

It is primarily the plasma– a golden liquid that transports proteins and red and white blood cells around the body– that makes it so sought after. Donated blood is crucial in treating medical conditions such as anemia and cancer and is commonly required to perform surgeries. Pregnant women also frequently need transfusions to treat blood loss during childbirth. Like all maturing industries, a few enormous bloodthirsty companies, such as Grifols and CSL, have come to dominate the American market.

But in order to generate such enormous profits, these vampiric corporations consciously target the poorest and most desperate Americans. One study found that the majority of donors in Cleveland generate more than a third of their income from “donating” blood. The money they receive, notes Professor Kathryn Edin of Princeton University, is literally “the lifeblood of the $2 a day poor.” Professor H. Luke Schaefer of the University of Michigan, Edin’s co-author of $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, told MintPress News:

The massive increase in blood plasma sales is a result of an inadequate and in many places non-existent cash safety net, combined with an unstable labor market. Our experience is people need the money, that’s the primary reason people show up at plasma centers.”

Almost half of America is broke, and 58 percent of the country is living paycheck to paycheck, with savings of less than $1000. 37 million Americans go to bed hungry, including one-sixth of New Yorkers and almost half of South Bronx residents. And over half a million sleep on the streets on any given night, with many millions more in vehicles or relying on friends or family. It is in this context that millions in the red have turned to selling blood to make ends meet. In a very real sense then, these corporations are harvesting the blood of the poor, literally sucking the life out of them.

MintPress News spoke to a number of Americans who consistently donated plasma. Some of them did not want to be fully identified. But none were under any illusions about the system and how they were being exploited.

“The centers are never in a good part of town, always somewhere they can get a never ending supply of poor people desperate for that hundred bucks a week,” noted Andrew Watkins, who sold his blood in Pittsburgh, PA for around 18 months.

 The people who show up are a mix of disabled, working poor, homeless, single parents, and college students. With the exception of the college students who are looking for booze money, this is probably the easiest and most reliable income they have. Your job may fire you at any time when you’re on this level of society, but you always have blood. And selling your blood doesn’t count as a job or income when it comes to determining disability benefits, food stamps, or unemployment eligibility so it’s a source of money for the people who have absolutely nothing else.”

Rachel from Wisconsin, who donated hundreds of times over a seven-year period, also commented on the obvious socio-economic makeup of donors.

We were poor, all of us in there you could easily tell that we were on the lower ends of the income bracket. They incentivize you with bonuses and the more you donate in a month the more you’ll get paid, recruiting friends bonuses, holiday bonuses, etc.”

Keita Currier from Washington, D.C., noted how she and her husband had little choice but to continue visiting clinics in Maryland for years but resented their payment methods.

 They’re predatory, the price set for your plasma is based on a whim. For example, one place I donated the first five times you get $75, then you get 20, 20, 30, 50, 25. It’s random, it doesn’t matter, but they know you are desperate and if you don’t do your $30 donation you won’t get your 50 next time. Apparently, the plasma is worth something in the hundreds, so it is not surprising that you’re screwed over.”

 

Zombifying America’s poor

Respondents all agreed that they were indeed being exploited, but in more ways than one. Desperate Americans are allowed to donate twice per week (104 times per year). But losing that much plasma could have serious health consequences, most of which have not been studied Professor Schaefer warns, stressing that more research is necessary. Around 70 percent of donors experience health complications. Donors have a lower protein count in their blood, putting them at greater risk of infections and liver and kidney disorders. Many regulars suffer from near-permanent fatigue and are borderline anemic. All this for an average of $30 per visit. Rachel described the terrible Catch-22 many of the working poor find themselves in:

 I got turned away twice – once for being too dehydrated and once for being anemic. Being poor created a shitty paradox where I couldn’t eat, and because I couldn’t eat my iron levels weren’t high enough to allow me to donate. That was a week of a pay cut, money I desperately needed for rent and bills and meds.”

A common method of cheating in endurance sports is to inject extra blood into your system before a race, giving you a huge performance boost. But extracting it has the opposite effect, making you sluggish and tired for days. Thus, this debilitating practice is zombifying America’s poor.

Plasma donation

A Maryland plasma center is shown in a promotional image for CSL Plasma, one of the largest corporations dominating the market

The process of giving blood is not a pleasurable one. Currier noted that after constantly donating, “the bruising gets terrible…Sometimes they can’t find the vain ‘n’ shit or they insert it wrong and they have to adjust the needle underneath your skin” she said, claiming that just thinking about it freaks her out, and revealed that her husband had to temporarily stop donating as his bosses thought he was on heroin due to the track marks on his arms.

Watkins agreed. “You could always tell how long someone had been doing the job by that needle,” he recalls. “Once they’d been there a year or so, they’d have stabbed literally thousands of people and could just tap your elbow once and slide the needle into the vein with no problems. New guys would miss the vein, punch through the vein, or try to hunt for it with the needle tip, which would leave terrible bruises.”

There is also little thought for the comfort of the patients. As Watkins explained, the thermostats are always turned down to around 50-60ºF for the plasma’s sake. Once the amber-colored plasma has been extracted, your cooled blood is re-injected in a painful process that feels as if ice is being inserted into the body. “Combined with the already cold air temperatures, this was maddening,” he notes.

Thus, America’s zombie poor are left almost permanently mentally drained like heroin addicts, and with similarly bruised and punctured arms, except they are being paid for the inconvenience. But perhaps the worst thing about the experience, according to those interviewed, is the dehumanization of the process. 

Donors are publicly weighed to make sure they are heavy enough. Obese people are worth more to the bloodthirsty companies as they can safely extract more plasma from them each session (while paying out the same compensation). “They definitely turn you into a product in a very literal sense,” Watkins says; “It’s deeply exploitative and a symptom of just how far gone capitalism is.”

Many centers are enormous, with multiple rows of dozens of machines working in an attempt to appease the insatiable appetite of the vampiric corporation. And there is, according to Watkins, no lack of human “victims” willing to be treated like animals in battery farms, in exchange for a few dollars: “It was an assembly line to extract liquid gold from human mines,” he notes. 

Currier also highlighted the treatment of the staff and the cost-cutting measures of clinics in Maryland she visited would enact:

 Usually the places are hugely understaffed which means they frequently don’t change gloves, the people are overworked, and at the minimum you’re staying there for 2-3 hours which means you have to plan a whole day around this shit only to get 20 bucks in your pocket to make it through the next few days. It’s depressing, disheartening and frankly embarrassing to have to hustle like this. I feel like shit after I donate.”

 

Exploitation reaches new levels

But the exploitation of humans has reached new levels in clinics on the U.S.-Mexico border. Every week, thousands of Mexicans enter the U.S. on temporary visas to sell their blood to for-profit pharmaceutical corporations. The practice is banned on health grounds in Mexico but is completely legal north of the border. According to ProPublica, there are at least 43 blood donation centers along the border that prey primarily on Mexican nationals in a legally ambiguous practice.

According to a Swiss documentary on the subject, there are precious few checks on the cleanliness of the blood these companies accept, with some donors interviewed admitting they were drug addicts. But all is sacrificed in the pursuit of dazzling profits, something donors were well aware of. Rachel from Wisconsin admitted,

 I did it for the money, I think we all do it for the money, but it’s not really something you out and out say because there’s a veneer of “helping the sick” slathered over it. But I caught glimpses of what kind of industry it was on occasion through innocuous questioning. The amount of plasma drawn from one person per donation was worth upwards of $600, I never really got a clear answer on that.

Andrew from Pennsylvania agreed, noting wryly,

 I know my plasma was worth thousands of dollars per donation [to others], because I’ve seen what a hospital in my city charged a hemophiliac for platelets, so the pittance that they pay is ridiculous, but there is only one buyer making offers at the human level. If you’re poor and out of other options, you’ll take $40 however you can get it. Any port in a storm.”

Michael, a social worker from Georgia who sold his blood for extra cash, was deeply scornful of the entire situation. “I’ve known quite a number of people who rely on money made by selling plasma. A lot of times it’s to cover childcare or prescriptions or something along those lines,” he said. “It’s absolutely deplorable to leverage literal blood money from people who have so few options.”

Blood donation sign

A sign encouraging students to sell blood to fund their education. Twitter | @tjulrich

Big pharma is particularly interested in the blood of the young. One billboard campaign from Grifols intentionally targeted working-class students. “Need books? No worries. Donate Plasma” reads the headline. Teenager blood is in high demand in, of all places, Silicon Valley, where anti-aging technologies are the latest trend. One company, Ambrosia, charges $8,000 per treatment to aging tech executives, infusing them with the blood of the young, turning these individuals into bloodsuckers in more ways than one. Despite the fact that there is no clinical evidence that the practice has any beneficial effects, business is booming. One committed customer is PayPal co-founder turned Trump surrogate Peter Thiel, who is reportedly spending vast sums of money on funding anti-aging startups. Thiel claims that we have been conned by “the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual” and believes that his own immortality may be just around the corner, a notion that has deeply concerned academics andcommentators alike.

The new and booming blood market is the perfect embodiment of the late capitalist dystopia modern America has become. The dehumanizing process of harvesting the blood of the poor to fund the quixotic immortality dreams of the super-wealthy turns the former into walking, living zombies and the latter into vampires, feasting on the blood of the young; a true American horror story worthy of Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft. As Rachel from Wisconsin said:

It really is an industry where ‘squeezing blood from stones’ is about as literal as you can get.”

Feature photo | A man is shown selling plasma at an unidentified plasma center. lightpoet | Shutterstock

Alan MacLeod is a MintPress Staff Writer as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

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Offline Surly1

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Trump embarrassed on the first day of the NATO summit
« Reply #4031 on: December 04, 2019, 09:05:19 AM »
Trump was embarrassed on the first day of the NATO summit, and it shows no one is bothering to take him seriously anymore

5 hours ago
donald trump nato
President Donald Trump arriving at the second day of the NATO leaders summit in Watford, England, on Wednesday.
Christian Hartmann/Reuters

  • President Donald Trump is at the second day of the NATO leaders' summit in England.
  • He entered the conference on Tuesday triumphant and claiming credit for the defense alliance's budget changes.
  • But that success waned quickly as the day went on, as French President Emmanuel Macron openly questioned his claims, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to mock him behind his back, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to be photographed with him.
  • All of these leaders had been openly diplomatic and friendly with Trump in the past. Their behavior on Tuesday showed a world no longer bothering to take the US president seriously.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump entered the NATO summit triumphant, claiming credit for large structural changes in the alliance's defense spending.

But his first day turned out to encompass one embarrassment after another, with multiple world leaders openly sparring with him and appearing to mock him behind his back — suggesting that nobody is bothering to take him seriously anymore.

Shortly before meeting other Western leaders in London on Tuesday, Trump claimedcredit for NATO reducing the US government's contributions to the group and increasing those from other allies.

Though this plan had been in place since 2014 — when Barack Obama was president — Trump took it as a personal victory because he had long railed against what he perceived as the US's outsize contribution to the defense alliance.

trump macron
French President Emmanuel Macron and Trump in London on Tuesday.
Ludovic Marin/Reuters

That feeling of triumph most likely waned quickly, though, as the day went on. Here's a rundown of Trump's numerous embarrassments on Tuesday:

  • He was publicly fact-checked by French President Emmanuel Macron — with whom he has touted having a strong relationship — at their joint press conference. Macron said the Islamic State terrorist group had not yet been defeated, despite Trump's repeated insistence that it had.
  • Macron also challenged Trump's claim that ISIS fighters were "mostly from Europe."
  • At a separate press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump openly questioned one of NATO's founding principles, Article 5, which requires members to protect one another if under attack — prompting concern and criticism among NATO officials.
  • Retired US Army Gen. Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander, told Business Insider's David Choi that Trump's comments were "a very rough way to play" with the alliance's principles and that "it undercuts deterrence, encourages potential adversaries, and erodes NATO itself."
Leaders of the NATO alliance countries, and its secretary general, join Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, for a group picture during a reception at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday Dec. 3, 2019, as they gathered to mark 70-years of the alliance. Back row, from left: Xavier Bettel Prime Minister of Luxembourg; Egils Levits President of Latvia; Gitanas Nauseda President of Lithuania; Dusko Markovic Prime Minister of Montenegro; Erna Solberg Prime Minister of Norway; Mark Rutte Prime Minister of Netherlands; Zuzana Caputova President of Slovakia; Andrzej Duda President of Poland; Antonio Costa Prime Minister of Portugal; Klaus Iohannis President of Romania; Marjan Sarec Prime Minister of Slovenia. Middle row from left: Edi Rama Prime Minister of Albania; Zoran Zaev Prime Minister of North Macedonia; Mette Frederiksen Prime Minister of Denmark; Juri Ratas Prime Minister of Estonia; Emmanuel Macron President of France; Angela Merkel President of Germany; Kyriakos Mitsotakis Prime Minister of Greece; Viktor Orban Prime Minister of Hungary; Katrin Jakobsdottir Prime Minister of Iceland; Giuseppe Conte Prime Minister of Italy; Andrej Plenkovic Prime Minister of Croatia. Seated from left: Sophie Wilmas Prime Minister of Belgium; Rumen Radev President of Bulgaria; Donald Trump President of United States; Prince Charles The Prince of Wales; Jens Stoltenberg NATO Secretary General; Queen Elizabeth II; Boris Johnson Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada; Pedro Sanchez Acting Prime Minister of Spain; Recep Tayyip Erdogan President of Turkey; Milos Zeman President of the Czech Republic. (Yui Mok/Pool via AP)
Leaders of the NATO alliance countries joined Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, fourth from left, first row, for a group picture at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night.
Associated Press
trump macron nato
An image of a video posted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that appeared to show a group including Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson mocking Trump on Tuesday night.
Screenshot/CBC

This all shows world leaders aren't bothering to take Trump seriously anymore.

Macron's publicly schooling Trump in front of dozens of reporters is a far cry from the two leaders' "bromance" two years ago.

Trudeau's apparent willingness to mock Trump in front of other world leaders contrasts heavily with the Canadian prime minister's pledge to himself in 2016 to criticize only the comments, rather than the character, of his American counterpart.

"There was a discipline that I imposed on myself early," Trudeau had told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Aaron Wherry, who wrote a book about the prime minister.

Johnson's refusal to be publicly seen with Trump also comes as a huge snub to the US president, who in October had endorsed him in the election.

boris Johnson donald trump
Johnson and Trump.
Getty

George Conway, the husband of the senior White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, tweeted in response to the video showing the world leaders on Tuesday, saying Trump was "the laughing stock of the planet."

"The world thinks you are an incompetent, ignorant, dumb, deranged buffoon — and they are right," Conway continued. "And you prove it to them every day."

Trump, on his end, has put on a veneer of success at the NATO summit on his social-media accounts. It remains unclear how long that will last.

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Offline Surly1

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Trump Stomps Home After ‘Two-Faced’ Trudeau Was Mean to Him
« Reply #4032 on: December 04, 2019, 10:45:10 AM »
Laughter is the best defense.


Trump Stomps Home After ‘Two-Faced’ Trudeau Was Mean to Him.
Trump canceled his NATO press conference after video showed the Canadian prime minister laughing about him with other world leaders at Buckingham Palace.



Jamie Ross

Reporter

It’s fair to say the NATO leaders’ meeting in Britain is not going terribly well.

Donald Trump hit out at Justin Trudeau on Wednesday after a candid video emerged of the Canadian prime minister ridiculing the U.S. president to the obvious delight and amusement of other world leaders. A fed-up Trump then canceled his scheduled press conference and said he’d fly straight home.

The video shows Trudeau with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a gathering at Buckingham Palace. Trudeau mocked Trump’s unexpected Monday press conferences, and said he “watched [Trump’s] team’s jaws drop to the floor” when the president made an announcement, which wasn’t specified in the video.

Trudeau later confirmed the leaders were laughing about Trump’s “impromptu press conference” at the meeting and, according to Canada’s CBC News, said he was talking about Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will host the next G-7 summit at Camp David.

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Johnson can be seen laughing at Trudeau’s shtick, and even the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne appears to join in.

The British prime minister was asked about laughing at Trump at his press conference. “No. That’s complete nonsense, I don’t know where that’s come from,” he said, suggesting that he did not know about the video.

Trump made no such effort to swerve from the controversy, hitting back on Wednesday, saying: “Well, he’s two-faced.

“And honestly, with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy, I find him to be a very nice guy. But the truth is I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent, and I guess he’s not very happy about it.” (CBC News reported Wednesday that Trudeau “waved off” the “two-faced” remark and said his relationship with Trump was “excellent.”)

Trump has repeatedly complained that the other NATO countries aren’t spending as much as the U.S. on their defense budgets.

Following his comments on Trudeau, Trump suggested he would cancel a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, saying he has done enough appearances in front of reporters during the summit.

Trump later confirmed he would be heading home early from the summit on Twitter, writing: “When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington. We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days.”

Before it got derailed, the NATO meeting was supposed to be a joyful celebration of the alliance’s 70th anniversary.

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Himalayan glaciers that supply water to a billion people are melting fast
« Reply #4033 on: December 05, 2019, 06:39:43 AM »
Himalayan glaciers that supply water to a billion people are melting fast



Preface. The Himalayan glaciers that supply water to a billion people are melting fast, already 30% has been lost since 1975.

Adding to the crisis are the 400 dams under construction or planned for Himalayan rivers in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan to generate electricity and for water storage.  The dams’ reservoirs and transmission lines will destroy biodiversity, thousands of houses, towns, villages, fields, 660 square miles of forests, and even parts of the highest highway of the world, the Karakoram highway. The dam projects are at risk of collapse from earthquakes in this seismically active region and of breach from flood bursts from glacial lakes upstream. Dams also threaten to intensify flooding downstream during intense downpours when reservoirs overflow (IR 2008, Amrith 2018).

Since the water flows to 16 nations, clearly these dams could cause turmoil and even war if river flows are cut off from downstream countries.  Three of these nations, India, Pakistan, and China, have nuclear weapons.

It’s already happening. After a terrorist attack that killed 40 Indian police officers in Kashmir, Indiadecided to retaliate by cutting off some river water that continues on to Pakistan, “adding an extra source of conflict between two nuclear-armed neighbors”. Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world with seriously depleted underground aquifers and less storage behind their two largest dams due to silt (Johnson 2019).

Alice Friedemann   [url=http://www.energyskeptic.com]www.energyskeptic.com[/url]  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels, and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report

***

Wu, K. 2019. Declassified spy images show Earth’s ‘Third Pole’ is melting fast.  Accelerating ice melt in the Himalayas may imperil up to a billion people in South Asia who rely on glacier runoff for drinking water and more. PBS.org

According to a study published today in the journal Science Advances, rising temperatures in the Himalayas have melted nearly 30% of the region’s total ice mass since 1975.

These disappearing glaciers imperil the water supply of up to a billion people throughout Asia.

Once nicknamed Earth’s ‘Third Pole’ for its impressive cache of snow and ice, the Himalayas may now have a bleak future ahead. Four decades of satellite data, including recently declassified Cold War-era spy film, suggest these glaciers are currently receding twice as fast as they were at the end of the 20th century.

Several billion tons of ice are sloughing off the Himalayas each year without being replaced by snow. That spells serious trouble for the peoples of South Asia, who depend on seasonal Himalayan runoff for agriculture, hydropower, drinking water, and more. Melting glaciers could also prompt destructive floods and threaten local ecosystems, generating a ripple effect that may extend well beyond the boundaries of the mountain’s warming peaks.

The study’s sobering findings come as the result of a massive compilation of data across time and space. While previous studies have documented the trajectories of individual glaciers in the Himalayas, the new findings track 650 glaciers that span a staggering 1,250-mile-wide range across Nepal, Bhutan, India, and China. They also draw on some 40 years of satellite imagery, which the scientists stitched together to reconstruct a digital, three-dimensional portrait of the glacier’s changing surfaces—almost like an ultra-enhanced panorama.

When a team of climatologists analyzed the time series, they found a stark surge in glacier shrinkage. Between 1975 and 2000, an average of about 10 inches of ice were shed from the glaciers each year. Post-Y2K, however, the net loss doubled to around 20 inches per year—a finding in keeping with accelerated rates of warming around the globe.

While previous studies have had difficulty disentangling the relative contributions of rising temperatures, ice-melting pollutants, and reduced rainfall to the boost in glacier melt, the latter two simply aren’t enough to explain the alarming drop in ice mass in recent years.

References

Amrith, S. S. 2018. The race to dam the Himalayas. Hundreds of big projects are planned for the rivers that plunge from the roof of the world. New York Times.

IR. 2008. Mountains of concrete: Dam building in the Himalayas. International Rivers.

Johnson, K. 2019. Are India and Pakistan on the verge of a water war? Foreign Policy.

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The mainstreaming of Occupy Wall Street
« Reply #4034 on: December 05, 2019, 11:45:23 AM »
The mainstreaming of Occupy Wall Street: How rethinking American capitalism became the most important debate of the 2010s



The truth behind Occupy's rallying cry, "We are the 99%," was hard to forget, even for the people in both parties who dismissed the protesters as nothing more than naive college kids and envious poor people. From that point on, it was hard to ignore the data-backed fact that the gap between the top 1% of Americans and everyone else was larger than it had been since pre-Depression levels in the 1920s.

And as the decade progressed, researchers like the French economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman dug in and found that it was worse than expected. As they published in their 2018 World Inequality Report, the top 1% of American adults captured 20.2% of US national income in 2016, and the bottom 50% captured 12.5%. In 1980, the top 1% captured 11% of the national income, and the bottom 50% captured just over 20%.

Today, unemployment is at historically low levels, but wage growth has been painfully sluggish.

So even when the economy seems to be doing well, millions of Americans are still struggling. We're essentially in a new Gilded Age, referring to the period in the late 19th century of huge economic growth alongside massive inequality that followed Reconstruction.

Donald Trump addressed this sentiment on his path to the White House in the 2016 election, and his win also empowered a growing progressive wing in the Democratic Party.

At this point, two ideas that were radical 10 years ago, a wealth tax on the assets of the richest Americans and Medicare for All, are pillars of both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren's presidential platforms.

And while Trump's 2017 tax law was traditionally conservative and far from populist, it included a policy for "opportunity zones" aimed at addressing inequality in parts of the country that weren't already bustling. Proposed by Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the policy provides developers tax breaks as motivation for building them up. Though they have certainly not been without controversy, they've still received bipartisan support.

Finding a sustainability that actually works

The 2010s saw the continuation of a fight between the left and the right that had built steam in the aughts over climate-change policy. President Barack Obama signed the international Paris agreement in 2016, setting targets for greenhouse emissions and regulation. The Trump administration this year, however, began withdrawing the US from it.

That hasn't stopped companies from moving forward with their own sustainability policies, even if done solely to get ahead of any legislation from a future Democratic administration.

At the beginning of the decade, for example, the outdoor-apparel company and retailing giant Walmart formed an unlikely partnership through the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, an organization of about 250 members. These include some of the world's biggest brands, like Adidas, Disney, Gap, Levi's, Nike, and Target. The group created a sustainability index to measure the impact of apparel manufacturing, and 10,000 more manufacturers outside the network now use the index.

Rose Marcario has been with Patagonia for 11 years, serving as CEO since 2013. In that time, she has made the company a champion of sustainability and shared its best practices with competitors.

She told Business Insider earlier this year that such partnerships were essential, regardless of who occupied the White House. "There's so much that we can do if we act collectively to fix these problems," she said. "I'm excited about it. But I do think that the next five, 10 years are the most absolutely critical for us to make serious change."

Reconsidering the role of a corporation

Both the financial crisis and rising inequality have prompted a branch of left-leaning economists, like the Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz, to push back against the form of free-market economics that has reigned for more than 40 years.

But while they are all calling for significantly increased taxes, even corporations with different interests are pushing back against one of the defining features of this era: the shareholder primacy theory.

The B Lab nonprofit, for example, has grown over the past decade to include 2,800 B Corporations (the b stands for benefit) and 8,000 legally registered benefit corporations. These companies have made commitments to creating value not only for shareholders but for employees, customers, communities, and the environment. It started with brands like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's and has been gaining traction with giant multinationals, with the support of giant companies like Danone and Unilever.

And while it was not a binding document, the Business Roundtable's statement this year marked a significant recognition of the demands from employees and consumers for a new way of doing things. Companies like JPMorgan Chase and Mastercard have, over the past few years, been increasingly incorporating community-driven investments into their core business.

Peter Scher is JPMorgan's head of corporate responsibility and its Washington, DC, branch, and oversees the international "AdvancingCities" philanthropic initiative. He told Business Insider that "we want to grow our business in these places and, ultimately, if we're going to grow the economy of a France or Michigan or the greater Washington region, you can't have all these economic hurdles holding people back."

Pushing against corporate power

The more companies want to influence communities, however, the more power corporations have over democratic institutions. It's one of the reasons that over the past several years a call for renewed antitrust policy has emerged for the first time since the 1980s.

The rise of big tech, namely Google, Facebook, and Amazon, has compelled progressives like Warren and Sanders to call for breaking up what they deem to be monopolies limiting healthy competition, but there has been a push from a smaller faction on the right as well.

Specifically, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, whose hero is the trust-buster Teddy Roosevelt, has made attacking concentrated corporate power his signature issue.

Matt Stoller, a fellow at the progressive antitrust nonprofit the Open Markets Institute who is author of "Goliath," told Business Insider that an alliance between the left and the right on this issue was not only necessary but very promising.

Looking at where we've been and where we're headed

Over the past decade, seeds sown in the wake of the Great Recession have flowered even as Wall Street recovered and is doing as good as it ever has.

From democratic socialists to conservative Republicans, from activists to CEOs, all with a variety of goals, there has been a growing recognition that today's capitalism is no longer working for enough Americans.

As voters and consumers, these Americans are now forcing the hands of politicians and executives to acknowledge their demands — and whether they know it or not, they're using a lot of the same language that protesters used almost 10 years ago.

And so if this past decade was about changing the conversation around capitalism, then the next decade will be about turning that rhetoric into action, regardless of who's president.
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